Increase in ambulance response times ‘worrying’ – Tully

An increase in ambulance response times since 2019 in this region has been described as “worrying and dangerous” by a local TD.

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully is calling on the Government to publish and fund a multi-annual workforce plan to double the number of paramedics and to increase training and retention in the service.

She was responding to data received by party health spokesperson, Deputy David Cullinane, from the National Ambulance Service through parliamentary question.

The response reveals that within North Leinster, which includes Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath, the percentage of life-threatening incidents responded to within the target of 19 minutes has fallen from 80% in December 2019 to 70% in December 2022 for cardiac and respiratory arrest, and from 58% to just 33% for other life-threatening incidents.

Serious strain

“The increase in average ambulance response times locally over the last three years is worrying and dangerous. It is clear that the Ambulance Service is under serious strain and pressure, which is exactly what paramedics in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath have been warning for years.

“The continuous decrease in the Ambulance Service’s ability to respond to life threatening incidents within target timeframes shows that the Government is failing to properly resource the service.”

Urging immediate action by Government, she continued: “A decrease in standards of this magnitude is dangerous. It is putting patients in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath at risk, and it is forcing paramedics to work extremely long hours.

That is not good for the individual paramedic, and many are concerned about the risk this presents to them, to patients, and to the public across Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath.”