TheJournal.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Overtime, cover, recruitment: all issues for ambulance services in Kildare and Dublin

Councillors in both counties have raised issues over different aspects of both their ambulance services this week.

File
File
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

BOTH DUBLIN AND Kildare councillors have expressed concerns about their counties’ ambulance services this week.

In Dublin, councillors have called for a fire expert to be included in a review of the city’s emergency ambulance services, while in Kildare there are concerns over the lack of cover for short term shifts.

Meanwhile, national ambulance service union NASRA has said there are continued concerns over overtime across much of the country.

Kildare

In Kildare, a rally took place in Athy’s Emly Square calling for a “paramedic service that is safe and reliable”, said its organiser, local councillor Thomas Redmond.

The Sinn Féin councillor said they are also calling for an ambulance service where callouts take place within the HIQA standards of 18 minutes 59 seconds.

Mick Dixon of the NASRA said that the rally was held to raise concerns about the fact that four ambulance cover shifts were dropped in Athy in the seven days previous to the rally.

He said this issue also affected Baltinglass and Tallaght.

Dixon said that there is no short term cover available for ambulance staff, so if staff members are out sick, due to the lack of the minimum amount of staff members, ambulance cover might be dropped and a rapid response vehicle is sent instead.

“We do need more recruitment – we do need more staff,” he said, adding that they want short term cover to be made available to staff.

“We are supposed to have two [staff members] at all times,” said Dixon of ambulance cover. “The rapid response is there to enhance the service.”

He said that overtime was being offered in the south and southeast of the country, but that there is no overtime available in the rest of the country.

“We want exactly what the unions want – a safe service and that ambulance drivers aren’t working 14 – 15 hour days,” added Redmond.

Redmond said the HSE has spoken to Kildare councillors, but that the next step “is that the HSE publicly say that they’re going to look at the ambulance service and deal with the unions”.

Dublin

In Dublin, an emergency motion was tabled last night that called for the city manager to suspend his review of the Dublin ambulance arrangements which was announced on 27 February.

The motion was not upheld, but a second Labour motion calling for a broader review of the Dublin emergency ambulance service was upheld, local councillor Christy Burke said. This motion also called for people with fire service expertise to be included on the review panel.

Cllr Burke said that the review will come back to the city council upon completion.

Burke said he commends the men and women of the fire and ambulance service and that he welcomes any review that is going to improve the service.

The HSE spends around €138m a year on its national emergency service. It pays DCC €9m per year for its emergency ambulance service.

The HSE announced a full capacity review of the national ambulance service on 25 February.

Dublin

In Dublin, an emergency motion was tabled last night that called for the city manager to suspend his review of the Dublin Ambulance arrangements which was announced on 27 February.

The motion was not held, but a second Labour motion calling for a broader review of the Dublin emergency ambulance service was upheld, local councillor Christy Burke said. This motion also called for people with fire service expertise to be included on the review panel.

Cllr Burke said that the review will come back to the city council upon completion.

Burke said he commends the men and women of the fire and ambulance service and that he welcomes any review that is going to improve the service.

The HSE spends around €138m a year on its national emergency service. It pays DCC €9m per years for its emergency ambulance service.

Among the factors to be assessed during the HSE and Dublin City Council review are the size of the fleet, compliance with national quality standards, the cost of the current service provision and how emergency calls are handled.

The review could potentially result in a change to the current model of service provision.

Read: Cost, quality and scale of ambulance services in Dublin to be reviewed>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

Comments (35 Comments)

Add New Comment