Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (747)

Tom Fleming


747. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that the ambulance cover in County Kerry and north Cork will be strengthened and enhanced; in view of the resources and personnel, if he will ensure a high quality service in the interest of health and safety; if he will re-instate the local control centre for calls to work in conjunction with the national control centre to ensure accurate directions are provided to ambulance crews in these peripheral areas (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5692/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Control Centre Reconfiguration Project is reducing the number of control centres to one national centre, over two sites, with significant investment in new voice, data and mapping technologies. This will allow the HSE National Ambulance Service to deploy emergency resources more effectively and efficiently, on a regional and national basis, rather than within small geographic areas. The National Centre will be located in Tallaght and Ballyshannon. Funding of €3.6m and 43 additional staff has been provided for the project in the National Service Plan 2014; the project is expected to be completed next year.

The HSE's reconfiguration of ambulance control is consistent with international best practice and endorsed by HIQA as the most appropriate approach to improve the quality of services to patients. This project is also a key element of Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Health Reform in Ireland 2012-2015.

In relation to the particular queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.