Loughglynn – Ireland’s only blackspot without an ambulance

In Health, West-Roscommon by Denis Naughten

The lights are on, but no ambulance and no service for 30k people. Denis Naughten TD has branded the failure by the HSE to provide a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week ambulance service at the Loughglynn base to service the West Roscommon and East Mayo area as a ‘national disgrace’.

The HSE has spent €70,000 refurbishing a garda station which had previously been refurbished and then closed, in order to provide an emergency ambulance base for Ireland’s only official ambulance blackspot.

“West Roscommon/East Mayo is now the only official ambulance coverage blackspot in the whole country without an ambulance. This led to a recommendation in a HIQA report in November 2014 calling for an ambulance to be allocated to the area without delay,” said Denis Naughten.

He pointed out that the Ambulance Review Report, released by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), described Loughglynn and West Roscommon/East Mayo as being one of three ‘well-known ambulance blackspot areas’ that ‘remain without a dedicated ambulance resource’.

“The other two ambulance blackspots, Tuam and Mulranny, were allocated a dedicated ambulance with paramedic staff permanently appointed to the stations earlier this year. So why has Loughglynn being short changed?” queried Denis Naughten.

“Bizarrely while the lights are on 24hours a day, there is no ambulance service for a population of 29,680 within 25 minutes of Loughglynn, including an international airport at Knock.

“Delays in responding to life-threatening 999 calls in East Mayo and West Roscommon, with further delays in getting to hospital, put patients at a far higher risk of dying or having serious long term complications as well as delayed discharges from hospital – which puts further pressure on acute hospital budgets.

“The people of West Roscommon and East Mayo have played ambulance roulette for long enough and the least that they deserve is the implementation of the HIQA recommendation that they have a fully operational ambulance on 24 hour, 7 day service,” concluded Denis Naughten.

View Denis’ video outside Loughglynn here: