Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (56)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


56. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the purpose of the current Health Service Executive review of emergency ambulance services; if it will include a capacity review for the entire State with the aim of enhancing the service, including increased staffing and infrastructure where required in regions with poor ambulance cover, and the retention of the highly valued ambulance role of the Dublin fire brigade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21290/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has commissioned a national capacity review to determine the level and use of resourcing required for a safe and effective service. This independent review will be undertaken by the UK Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, an organisation with considerable international experience in operational and strategic reviews of this kind.

In the context of the development of the national control system, a review of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) ambulance service is also underway. That review was commissioned by the Dublin City Manager and the HSE's Chief Operating Officer, and will consider all aspects of DFB ambulance operations, including the capacity and capability of ambulance services. The review will inform consideration of the best model for provision of emergency medical services in the greater Dublin area. The Deputy may also wish to note that HIQA is undertaking a review of the NAS and will examine the governance arrangements of pre-hospital emergency care services, to ensure the timely assessment, diagnosis, initial management and transport of an acutely ill patient to an appropriate healthcare facility.

The three reviews are being conducted in parallel in a concerted effort to examine our pre-hospital emergency care services throughout the country, with a view to identifying the best way to enable them to meet the challenges of the future. I am confident that the recommendations will guide us in the provision of a modern, forward looking service, capable of delivering the best possible outcomes for the public.

Question No. 57 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 6.