Lives at risk due to Mayo ambulance turnaround targets not being met

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, has said that lives are being put at risk due to ambulance turnaround times not being met

Deputy Chambers was commenting after Fianna Fáil received information from the HSE about turnaround times at every hospital in the country that receives emergency ambulances.

“The problem affects every county but the Mayo figures are particularly poor. Only 10.5% of ambulances at Mayo University Hospital actually met the 20 minute turnaround time; this is nothing short of a scandal. The reality of this is that every minute an ambulance is stuck at the hospital is time where it is not available for someone else who may need help. There is good reason we have set turnaround times; lives will be lost of this situation is not addressed.”

“It is not like we have an abundance of ambulances in Mayo, far from it. In fact I have raised the issue many times that Mayo has far too few ambulances to cater for a county with such a large geographic size. To find out that the few ambulances we do have are not even being turned around within the required deadline of 20 minutes is deeply concerning.”

“Ambulances are not being turned around quickly enough due to the pressure our Emergency Department is under. It is clear that the problems being faced by our Emergency Department is having a severely detrimental effect on our ambulance service and this needs urgent attention.”

“Minister Harris needs to work with the National Ambulance Service and the HSE to identify why these targets are not been met and to put in place mechanisms to ensure that they are met into the future. Clearly there will be times when the 20 minute target cannot be met but this should be the exception, not the norm. Minister Harris needs to make this clear to hospital managers and work with them to ensure turnaround times are met.”

“Having ambulances out of action is not acceptable. These figures should be used as a wakeup call by the Government to address the challenges in our emergency health departments” .