North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’ Shea has confirmed this week that the HSE Ambulance Service is to be restored 24/7 in September.
The Millstreet ambulance service was withdrawn in December 2012 and replaced by a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV), manned by a single paramedic per shift. At the time the move was met with considerable disquiet within the local community, leading to repeated calls from public representatives led by Cllr. O’ Shea that the ambulance service be fully reinstated.
Speaking this week, Cllr. O’ Shea said “this was a very positive outcome for the North Cork region and in particular for the people of Millstreet. I have witnessed firsthand the need for the ambulance service in our region to be restored with many calls for an ambulance in this area having to rely on ambulances in Macroom, Killarney and even as far away as Tralee and Newcastlewest to attend the Millstreet area by an absence of a transporting ambulance. I welcome the fact that the HSE now intends to restore the ambulance service in Millstreet 24/7 from this September. Enabling works have already commenced at the Ambulance base in Millstreet in anticipation of full restoration of this service”.
The HSE National Ambulance Service recently carried out a Baseline and Capacity Review – known as the Lightfoot Report – which confirmed that the role of a Rapid Response Vehicle’s (RRV’s) in rural areas like Millstreet are ineffective and should be replaced by a transporting Ambulance. This review which was the first of its kind to be conducted in Ireland has outlined how the Ambulance Service nationally should be improved over the coming years.
Cllr. O’ Shea added “The recommendations of this report must be implemented in full which will in the first instance restore confidence in our Ambulance Service and most importantly improve pre hospital emergency care services for all our citizens and this in turn will have a positive impact on the wider health services. The report has identified a significant need for investment in staff, technology and in community engagement to improve the service and as a local representative in North Cork, I will do my utmost to ensure the HSE Ambulance Service follows through with these recommendations”.