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.