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Ambulance Service

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 13 July 2011

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ceisteanna (210, 211)

Dominic Hannigan

Ceist:

212 Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Health the number of rapid response units that are deployed nationwide; the location at which they are deployed; the number of such units that will be added in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20274/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Dominic Hannigan

Ceist:

213 Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Health the number of advanced paramedics that are employed nationwide; the regions at which the advanced paramedics are employed; the number of new advanced paramedics that will be employed in the next 12 months; the number of advanced paramedics that are currently in training; the cost of training an advanced paramedic; if the requested information will be made available in tabular form on a regional basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20275/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 212 and 213 together.

The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has undergone significant change in order to ensure quality, safety and value for money. In line with other clinical areas, this process is ongoing as clinical needs and standards develop. I believe that these developments are in the best interests of patients, and that they are a key part of the Government's work to ensure high quality emergency care. Supported by my Department and by HIQA, the NAS is working to improve its services. This includes a reduction to two ambulance control centres nationally, with appropriate technology, a clinical lead for pre-hospital care, development and implementation of new performance indicators for pre-hospital care and development of standard national criteria in relation to non-emergency patient transport.

A relatively recent development to the NAS is the use of rapid response vehicles (RRVs). RRVs can be used to reach a scene more quickly than a standard ambulance. This allows the advanced paramedic to apply his or her training to determine the type of treatment and response required. There are four RRVs staffed by advanced paramedics on a 24 hour basis. They serve the Bantry, Nenagh, Ennis, Monaghan and Roscommon areas. There are a number of RRV resources in other parts of the country and these are deployed as required.

The HSE National Service Plan 2011 provides for a 24 hour RRV in the HSE Dublin Mid Leinster area. It is envisaged that the RRV will be in place by the end of the year. In addition to the RRVs, there are 3 Motorcycle Response Units (MRUs) serving the Dublin area, 7 days a week. In relation to the Deputy's question on advanced paramedics I have been advised by the NAS that the cost of training an AP is €127,000. The information the Deputy seeks regarding the number and deployment of APs is detailed in the following spreadsheet.

Advanced Paramedics

Course 10

Course 11

Course 12

Course 13

Course 14

Region

Qualified AP s at 2009

Finished Feb 10

Finished July 10

Finished Feb 11

To finish W/C 4th July 2011

Total APs July 2011

Commenced April 2011

Remainder on Panels

North East

17

3

0

1

2

23

0

12

North West

9

1

4

2

2

18

3

6

Midwest

20

3

1

0

0

24

0

5

West

16

0

0

2

0

18

3

0

East

29

0

3

2

2

36

0

5

Midland

12

4

1

5

1

23

0

2

South

13

4

3

3

6

29

1

8

South East

12

1

5

2

1

21

3

1

NATS

8

1

0

0

0

9

0

0

Total

136

17

17

17

14

201

10

39

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