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Senator not surprised by Glenamoy ambulance delay


Woman with leg injury left waiting for over 90 minutes

Anton McNulty

A cyclist was waiting over an hour and a half for an ambulance following an accident in north Mayo last week, as the original ambulance called was diverted to ‘a higher acuity call’.
Last week it was reported that a female cyclist had to wait for a substantial period of time for an ambulance after she was involved in an accident near Glenamoy last Wednesday, August 8, 2018. The cyclist received an injury at the time, but had to be treated by a local doctor at the local garda station, as the nearest ambulance was in Clifden.
The amount of time the cyclist had to wait was described as ‘dangerous and disgraceful’ by Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who said ‘she was not surprised’.
“While this incident is shocking it is not surprising to us here in Mayo and in rural Ireland. It is one of many such incidents happening on a regular basis and reflects the lack of investment in the service and the errors in the configuration of the system.
“It is obvious there is not a sufficient number of ambulances to meet the emergency health needs of the 130,000 population living in Mayo covering a wide geographic spread of the county. The only way this is going to be solved is by having additional ambulances and crews based in the county. The existing services do a tremendous job but they cannot be in two places at the one time,” she said.
When contacted by The Mayo News, the HSE confirmed that the National Ambulance Service received an emergency call at 4.38pm last Wednesday. They stated that an ambulance was dispatched from their base in Mulranny, but had to be diverted for a more serious incident.

“The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) emergency dispatcher immediately dispatched the closest emergency ambulance which responded from the Mulranny area, however, this was reassigned to a higher acuity call and a second ambulance was assigned which responded from the Ballina area. 
“A doctor at scene advised NEOC at 17.35 that the patient was stable. The Gardaí were also present at the scene. The emergency ambulance arrived at the scene at 18.12hrs. The patient received pre-hospital emergency care by the attending paramedics and was transported to hospital,” the HSE statement read.
Senator Conway-Walsh called on Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, to use his position in the government cabinet to increase the number of ambulances in the county. She also said an arrangement should be put in place with local groups like the Order of Malta to provide ambulance cover.
“Lives are being put at risk and premature deaths will occur unless patients in need of emergency care can get to hospital on time. Michael Ring has to use his position at the cabinet table to address this problem. It is the least people who have supported him over the decades deserve.
“I am also calling on the HSE to work out a formal protocol with the Order of Malta services who do wonderful work in communities so that there is positive collaboration to meet the needs of these communities and the use of their skills and equipment are maximised,” she concluded.