Roscommon Town ambulance service to be slashed – Naughten

In Agriculture, Local Issues, Mid-Roscommon, Posts by Topic by Denis Naughten

Roscommon to lose its A&E ambulances from 1st February

The Roscommon Town ambulance service is to be slashed from 1st February next following confirmation that an ambulance from Roscommon Town is to be relocated to Loughglynn. This will see the Roscommon base lose a third of its ambulances during the day and half of its ambulance coverage at night.
“The National Ambulance Service has decided for an initial six month period to remove one of the three ambulances based in Roscommon Town during the day and one of the two ambulances based in the town at night,” stated Denis Naughten.

“Interestingly, the ambulance that is to be relocated from Roscommon Town is the exact same service that was introduced to the local station at the time the Accident & Emergency at Roscommon Hospital was closed. This means the back-up service provided to cover the loss of the A&E will, from 1st February, be based 40 minutes away in Loughglynn rather than beside Roscommon Hospital.

“While it is imperative that Loughglynn gets a dedicated ambulance on a 24/7 basis, relocating the ambulance from Roscommon Town will just mean that the Loughglynn based ambulance will be regularly coming back to Roscommon to cover an already overstretched service.

“At present on most days two of the three existing Roscommon Town based ambulances spend most of their time outside County Roscommon. With the relocation of the third ambulance to West Roscommon, it will mean that large parts of the county are going to be even further away from an emergency ambulance service.

“Take for example a suspected stroke on Main Street, Roscommon, which has to rely on the ambulance to come Loughglynn 40 minutes away. The patient then has to be transferred to Galway University Hospital which is a further 90 minutes away. In the intervening period that patient will have lost 260 million brain cells and their chance of recovery is significantly diminished,” stated Denis Naughten.

He added: “The Prime Time report on the ambulance service last year exposed the fact that on 10 of the 14 days analysed by the programme the county of Roscommon was left without any ambulance for at least two hours. It was concluded by an expert in ambulance deployment that County Roscommon had inadequate ambulance cover.

Referring to the transfer of an ambulance from Roscommon to Loughglynn, Denis Naughten stated: “This planned action by the National Ambulance Service goes against the solemn promise given by the Taoiseach and Minister for Health at the time of the closure of the A&E when the people were guaranteed that they would have an enhanced ambulance service.

“This decision has to be reversed by providing an additional full time ambulance service based in Loughglynn for the people of West Roscommon. This has happened in Mulranny, Co. Mayo and Tuam, Co. Galway in line with a HIQA recommendation but yet the same recommendation in relation to Loughglynn is to be ignored, and you have to wonder why?”


Editor’s Note:

Political Commitments in Dáil Éireann on the ambulance service

Thursday, 30 June 2011
James Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael) The service was to be supplemented by an additional ambulance so there would be four ambulances covering Roscommon during the day and three at night. I can guarantee that. There will be extra paramedics available with a car to provide cover if all the ambulances are out of Roscommon at any given time.
These are services that I can control and which I will deliver. I do not control the NCHDs at present because I do not know the numbers, but when they become available I commit to their inclusion. People will have an urgent care centre and a safe service. The abiding message I want to send from this House today is that I want to replace that which is not safe with something that is safe.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael) From a medical safety perspective, the Minister has pointed out that people suffering from deep trauma, heart attack or stroke have a better chance of survival if they are brought to a high volume centre like Galway. He has confirmed that Roscommon will have four ambulances, with two based in Roscommon town and backed up by a rapid response vehicle with a team of trained paramedics and the advantage of a medical assessment unit. This is in the interest of patient safety. I am aware of the concerns, fears and anxieties that people have but I assure the Deputy that what I am describing is going to happen.

Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael) There will be additional facilities in terms of the new ambulance crew and the rapid response vehicle backed up by the trained paramedic team. Believe reality.

Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
This was not because of the qualities of individual doctors but due to a lack of range of medical personnel. It is for that reason only that these changes are being made; to provide 24 hour cover in respect of the urgent care centre, to provide improved ambulance and transport facilities, backup paramedic personnel, facilities for access to a medical assessment unit, and transfers for patients suffering from heart attacks, deep trauma, stroke and so on. The changes being made are based on a requirement, a necessity and a responsibility to provide the best opportunity for patients in those categories to have the best level of treatment and the best opportunity to survive deep trauma, a heart attack or a stroke.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael –I point out to the Deputy that when I said things will change in Roscommon —–and they will change, I checked the position. I even got the registration numbers of the five ambulance vehicles. There are four crews.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

James Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael) There will be many other services at Roscommon, including an additional ambulance. Therefore, there will be four ambulances in Roscommon during the day and three at night, two of them based in Roscommon town. There will be paramedics available in a car for Roscommon also.