Local TD Denis Naughten has described the suggestion that Loughglynn and West Roscommon are to get an ambulance service later this month as “farcical”.
“Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth,” claimed Denis Naughten.
“Instead, as and from 15th June, a Roscommon Town based ambulance may, if there are other ambulances available, be parked for a period of time at the site of the Loughglynn Ambulance Station.”
This view is supported by the HSE which issued a statement last week pointing out that “no resources will be moved on a permanent basis day by day. Resources will only be moved as and when the National Emergency Operations Centre deem it appropriate”.
“This is just not good enough, and gives a false sense of security to the people of West Roscommon and East Mayo'” said Denis Naughten.
He pointed out that the Ambulance Review Report released by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) last November described Loughglynn and West Roscommon as being one of three ‘well-known ambulance blackspot areas’ that ‘remain without a dedicated ambulance resource’.
“The other two ambulance blackspots, Tuam & Mulranny, are set to get a dedicated 24 hour a day/7 day a week ambulance with paramedic staff permanently appointed to the station. So why is Loughglynn being short changed?” queried Denis Naughten.
“The service that is planned for Loughglynn has already been found to be totally unacceptable in Mulranny because in many instances emergencies in the areas served by the base must wait for an ambulance to come from either Galway or Castlebar. Such a service was described by HIQA as sub-standard and a risk to patient safety.
“Therefore if it’s not good enough for HIQA, why should it be acceptable to the people of West Roscommon?”
This position was also endorsed by the local Government TD. When asked on Morning Ireland last year if there would be additional ambulances and additional staff to be provided to the new ambulance base in Loughglynn he replied “why would you build an ambulance base if you don’t have extra services and extra staff?”. He was then asked “is that a yes?” and he replied “absolutely”.
“Interestingly, the ambulance that is to be relocated from Roscommon Town is the exact same service that was introduced to the local ambulance station at the time that the Accident & Emergency at Roscommon Hospital was closed,” explained Denis Naughten.
“So when there are more delayed ambulances the people of West Roscommon will be wrongly told that they have a service. This will mean that everybody throughout County Roscommon who is now so reliant on a good ambulance service, will lose out.”
Frank Feighan TD interview on Morning Ireland on 19th March last, (see 9.40min into interview): http://ow.ly/vlYEy
Denis Naughten TD