New figures released to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher TD show that virtually all hospitals continue to miss the 20 minute turnaround time for the majority of ambulance calls. The figures were for May 2016.
Deputy Kelleher said, “Just four hospitals managed to meet the 20 minute target for more than half of ambulance attending their Emergency Departments. None of the other 26 hospitals had a success rate of more than 49% for the twenty minute turnaround.
“The best performing hospital was Tallaght Paediatric at 58%. Navan Hospital, Connolly Hospital and St James’s were the only others to break the 50% mark. At the other end of the scale two hospitals failed to break 10% with Galway recording an 8% success rate and Mayo coming in at 9.7%.
Another six hospitals were in the 10-20% range – Letterkenny, Sligo, University Hospital Limerick, Portiuncula, South Tipperary, Midland Regional Tullamore, Kerry and Cork University Hospital.
“Of 20,032 ambulance hospital attendances in May, just 5,820 or 29.1% had a turnaround within the 20 minute timeframe. 1,126 ambulance calls took more than an hour with Mayo worst at 17.7% followed by Galway at 15.4%. It is quite alarming that an ambulance going to either of these two hospitals is almost twice as likely to have to wait an hour or more than to reach the turnaround target.
“Of course missing turnaround targets has a knock on effect for the ambulance service as it makes it harder to respond to new call outs in the target time if paramedics are delayed at hospitals.
“Unsurprisingly, many of the hospitals with low turnaround rates also experience overcrowding in their Emergency Departments. The delays in transferring patients are clearly not the fault of the ambulance service. Rather there are symptomatic of the ongoing difficulties in our acute hospitals,” concluded Deputy Kelleher.