Ambulance turnaround times deteriorate at Sligo University Hospital

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Ambulance turnaround times deteriorate at Sligo General Hospital

Only 10.6% of ambulance services attending Sligo General Hospital meet the 20-minute target time

Urgent action must be taken to address the huge deterioration in ambulance turnaround times over the past two years Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Eamon Scanlon has stated.

Ambulance turnaround times measure the time interval from ambulance arrival at a hospital, to when the crew is ready to accept another call.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have said that all hospitals in Ireland should monitor the implementation of 95% of patients being handed over from an ambulance crew to the emergency department staff in less than 20 minutes, and where this is not met, corrective action should be taken.

Figures released to Fianna Fáil show in September 2019 only 10.6% of ambulance services attending Sligo University Hospital meet the 20-minute target time.

Deputy Scanlon commented, “These figures are very disappointing and extremely worrying for those who may depend on an ambulance over the winter months.

“More worrying is in 2017 the turnaround time at Sligo University Hospital was 17.9%.

“The decline in the transfer turnaround times is yet another reflection of the pressures on hospitals and the lack of capacity to cope. The main reason for the delay is because emergency departments are too busy with too few staff to process a patient coming in by ambulance.

“I know and have met staff in Sligo General Hospital. They do some of the most dedicated work in the county. They need extra resources and support.

“I will be raising my concerns with the Minister for Health. This downward trend cannot continue,” concluded Deputy Scanlon.