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Local health forum hears of 30% rise in demand for ambulance service

Dec 16, 2021 09:29 By Shannonside News
Local health forum hears of 30% rise in demand for ambulance service
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Demand on medical services during the past couple of years is increasing and members the public are being asked to think about attending Minor Injury Units before

Members of a local health forum covering Longford and Westmeath have been told the National Ambulance Service has reported a 30% rise in demand for its services this year.

Recruiting staff and the public using alternative methods of seeking medical attention have been suggested as ways to reduce pressure on the service.

The National Ambulance Service has increased staff numbers every year since 2015.

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However, demand for urgent medical help is outstripping capacity according to a presentation given to the regional health forum which covers Westmeath and Longford this week.

Pat Mooney, who is Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer , National Ambulance Service North Leinster outlined that the level of demands for ambulances and paramedics is now back to pre pandemic levels

He outlined that emergency calls seeking medical help were up 26% in July compared to February of this year and 40% of all 999 calls are triaged as life threatening cardiac or respiratory arrest incidents.

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As a result of extra demand, the response times has been reduced for DELTA calls, which respond to life threatening illness or injury, outside of cardiac incidents.

The target response time for these calls is 18 minutes 59 seconds, which was achieved only 52% of the time in July of this year.

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