Minister assures Deputy Deering that ambulance services in Carlow will not be compromised despite temporary closure of ambulance base

21st October, 2016

Increased funding being made available to the National Ambulance Service for 2017

Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, has said that he has received assurances from Minister Catherine Byrne in the Dáil today, that ambulance services in Carlow will not be compromised, despite the temporary closure of the ambulance base. The Minister also confirmed that increased funding is being made available to the National Ambulance Service for 2017.

“I have been very concerned since I learned that the Carlow ambulance base is to close from next Monday, due to the fact that staff will have to temporarily move out of the premises they were using and operate out of the Kilkenny base instead. The Carlow base, with 15 paramedics, is one of the busiest in the South East, both for calls and in relation to mileage covered. 

“I raised this issue in the Dáil today and it was confirmed to me by Minister Byrne that the National Ambulance Service has said that following a health and safety audit, an issue was identified in relation to the shower and changing facilities used by staff at Carlow ambulance station. Works are planned to take place in order to rectify the issue concerned and this is being treated as a priority by the NAS.

“Discussions are currently underway with staff with a view to addressing how services to the Carlow area can best be provided, while the planned works are underway. The Minister has stressed that patient safety will, of course, be the overriding priority in these discussions and the Director of the National Ambulance Service has given assurances that services in the Carlow area will not be compromised during this period.

“The Minister has also informed me that increased funding will be made available to the National Ambulance Service for 2017, with the detail of the improvements to be provided in the HSE’s 2017 National Service Plan. Over the coming weeks Department of Health officials will work closely with their counterpart in the HSE, and the National Ambulance Service, to agree priorities in relation to the 2017 allocation.”