Ambulance numbers must be increased to improve turnaround times

Less than 10% of calls meet the 20 minute target

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says urgent investment is needed in the ambulance fleet in the Western region to ensure that turnaround targets are being met. The latest data supplied to Fianna Fáil reveals that only 9.5% of ambulance calls at Mayo University Hospital were cleared within the official 20 minute window.

Deputy Chambers commented, “These missed target times pose a major problem for the ambulance service and the hospital as it makes it more difficult for paramedics to respond to new call outs and any delays can make an already serious situation more dangerous. There were 590 calls recorded in February and just 52 dealt with within 20 minutes. These figures compare unfavourably with the national picture and it is deeply worrying for me as a local TD to see such a poor performance.

“These turnaround figures are symptomatic of wider problems in our hospital. There were 89 people on trolleys at MUH in April, waiting lists are out of control and a number of services have now been transferred to Galway.

“Given the challenges facing ambulances in Mayo and the fact that the West of Ireland had the lowest response times for ECHO and DELTA calls in 2016, it is time that the Health Minister woke up to the crisis in services in the West and allocated the necessary resources to improve the situation.

“Minister Harris needs to spend less time devising grand plans and more time fixing the most basic problems within our health service. This can only be done through targeted investment and I am calling on him to ensure that our ambulance service is fit for purpose and has the necessary resources to carry out its duties in line with best practice”.