Local Independent Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed the Cabinet has approved an additional allocation of €1million for improvements in the National Ambulance Service in 2017, as part of the overall HSE Service Plan.
Also included in the 2017 HSE Service Plan is a commitment to develop protocols for the transport of patients to facilities other than emergency departments, which would allow ambulances to bring patients directly to Roscommon Hospital in circumstances where it is appropriate to do so.
“This is a significant move on behalf of health management in Ireland, who point-blank refused to consider such proposals in the past, and is on foot of a clear commitment I had incorporated into the Programme for Government,” said Minister Naughten.
“A further measure included in the HSE Service Plan which I have been pursuing has been the proper development and deployment of community first responders which will support the network of people throughout the region trained in the use of defibrillators.
“Work between the National Ambulance Service and my own Department has led to a system whereby people ringing 999 or 112, who provide their Eircode, can have their home identified on the ambulance tracking system, which will dramatically improve ambulance response times in some instances.
“I’m currently working on other improvements in the exchange of information which would further improve the response times to emergencies where people are using their mobile phones,” concluded Minister Naughten.