Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (200)

Bernard Durkan


200. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied regarding the adequacy of resources to maintain an adequate ambulance service throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21778/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Ambulance Service (NAS) is continuing to modernise and reconfigure its services to ensure emergency pre-hospital care is delivered in an appropriate and timely manner. A significant reform programme is currently underway which will provide a clinically driven, nationally co-ordinated system, supported by improved technology. In that regard, additional funding of €3.6 million and 43 staff have been provided in the National Service Plan 2014. Ongoing performance improvement projects include; the single national control system, to be completed in 2015; the Intermediate Care Service, for routine and non-emergency transfers, allowing emergency vehicles to focus on emergency situations; the move to on-duty rostering and the development of a national rostering system.

I would also like to draw the Deputy's attention to three separate reviews of ambulance services currently underway. HIQA is examining the governance arrangements for pre-hospital emergency services; the HSE and Dublin City Council have commissioned a joint review of Dublin ambulance services to determine the optimal and most cost-effective model of ambulance services delivery for the city; and the UK Association of Ambulance Chief Executives is undertaking a comprehensive capacity review of the NAS, to determine what level of resourcing, in terms of staff, vehicles, skills and distribution, is required to deliver a safe and effective service now and into the future. I am confident that these reviews will inform the development of a modern, clinically driven system, properly resourced, for appropriate and timely services to the benefit of patients.