Am­bu­lance driv­ers say con­trol cen­tre move not work­ing

Bray People - - News -

AM­BU­LANCE re­sponse times in Wick­low are be­ing com­pro­mised since the con­trol cen­tre moved from Wick­low Hospi­tal to Dublin’s Townsend Street.

A num­ber of am­bu­lance driv­ers have lashed out against the change which took place last De­cem­ber say­ing they be­lieve their re­sponse times are be­ing com­pro­mised be­cause of the com­bin­ing of re­sources.

Dublin paramedics say that since the Com­mand and Con­trol Cen­tre in Townsend Street took con­trol of dis­patch­ing crews in Wick­low, they are hav­ing to travel out­side their tra­di­tional ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the am­bu­lance staff, this is lead­ing to a de­lay in reach­ing med­i­cal emer­gen­cies.

How­ever, the HSE says that in their ex­pe­ri­ence this is not the case and sys­tem of dis­patch is work­ing ef­fec­tively.

The East­ern Divi­sion of Na­tional Am­bu­lance Ser­vices has re­spon­si­bil­ity for the pro­vi­sion of pre-hospi­tal and pa­tient trans- port ser­vices within Dublin, Wick­low and Kil­dare.

In De­cem­ber, the emer­gency call tak­ing and dis­patch of am­bu­lances was moved from Wick­low Hospi­tal to the Com­mand and Con­trol in Townsend Street. Ser­vices to and from Lough­lin­stown Hospi­tal are also con­trolled from the same base.

Am­bu­lance driv­ers from Tal­laght said the move has cre­ated a num­ber of prob­lems in­clud­ing in­creased re­sponse times.

One driver who did not wanted to be named said ‘Tal­laght am­bu­lances are be­ing sent down to places like Grey­stones. The tra­di­tional re­sponse time is around 10 min­utes but now we’re looking at up to 30 min­utes in some cases. We have no prob­lem deal­ing with it but send­ing Tal­laght am­bu­lances to Sal­lynog­gin is ridicu­lous. There should be a quicker re­sponse than that’.

In a state­ment the HSE, said ‘the Na­tional Am­bu­lance Ser­vice op­er­ates to a pro­to­col of re­spond­ing the near­est avail­able am­bu­lance to all emer­gen­cies.

‘Am­bu­lance crews are be­ing dis­patched and de­ployed to emer­gency calls in the Dublin and Wick­low ar­eas in ac­cor­dance with the above pro­to­col.

‘This re­gion­al­i­sa­tion of am­bu­lances al­lows for greater use of all avail­able am­bu­lance re­sources in the care of ma­jor emer­gen­cies.’

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