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Reconfiguration of ambulance service another blow for emergency care in South – McLellan

14 July, 2011


Sinn Féin’s TD for Cork East, Sandra McLellan, has called on the Government to address, as a matter of urgency, the reconfiguration of the ambulance service in the HSE South Area.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy McLellan said:

“The proposed reconfiguration of pre-hospital emergency care in the HSE South area will result in a major skills mix deficit due to changes in service delivery rosters, and will leave the town of Youghal, for example, completely without ambulance cover. This is totally unacceptable. These proposals, particularly in the context of the devastating cutbacks planned for the Accident and Emergency Department at Mallow General Hospital amounts to an unprecedented assault on acute emergency healthcare in the region.

“Because of changes to rosters, there will be a decrease in the number of senior personnel available to cover certain shifts. In order to protect existing levels and quality of service the government must either employ more staff or invest in the existing pool by providing appropriate career progression opportunities. A rapid response vehicle manned by a Paramedic is not the same as an ambulance manned by Advanced Paramedics.

“In the broader context of the Croke Park Agreement and public sector reform this reconfiguration highlights a major difficulty with redeployment and rostering. It is absolutely necessary to ensure that adequately qualified and trained staff are available at all times to deliver this emergency service.”

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