HSE representatives are to meet with Cllr Caillian Ellis and Deputy Eamon Scanlon today, Wednesday, November 14 to discuss concerns over the Carrick-on-Shannon ambulance base.
Cllr Ellis told the Leitrim Observer he will meet with the head of operations this Wednesday at 11am and said he was “hopeful” the current difficulties could be “ironed out.”
Deputy Martin Kenny said he has spoken to Senior HSE Management and they are assessing works at the Carrick base this week. Deputy Kenny said he understands works are being done to the Carrick base and he hopes the concerns can be resolved quickly.
However a member of Carrick Ambulance crew told the paper they have not been made aware of any update on the situation. The staff member said the crew are still based in Boyle, although it is also unsuitable and only fit for one crew at a time.
The crew member said they are aware of the political meeting due to take place today but said they do not know if their union was invited to attend.
Cllr Brendan Barry told the Leitrim Observer, he was disappointed by the lack of action taken when it had become very clear over 12 months ago that the ambulance base in Carrick-on-Shannon would have to move.
“They were notified by the owner of the house where the base was previously located, in Shannon Lodge, that he wanted to sell the house but nothing was really done to find a new location. Then the base was moved out to Cortober and this was unsuitable and the base is now in Boyle,” he pointed out.
“This is a ridiculous situation and more should have been done to sort this out much, much earlier. I understand there may be a health and safety inspection carried out in Boyle shortly and there is a real concern that this could throw up some issues as now there are two crews operating out of a very small base.”
Cllr Barry also wants to know if room can be made at Ballinamore Primary Care Centre for the Leitrim ambulance base. He understands a room was supposed to be available for temporary ambulance lay over when it was built.
Deputy Tony McLoughlin queried the Health Minister on the issue and asked when the service will return to South Leitrim in Dáil Eireann last week.
In a letter to Deputy McLoughlin, Oliver Reilly, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer stated, “concerns were identified by the staff and consequently the Carrick-on-Shannon staff are operating from Boyle Ambulance Station in the interim, as a temporary measure until the issues have been rectified. NAS management and staff continue to work towards resolving the issues identified.”
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