Dublin and Northeast Ambulance Service

▪ An ambulance will bring a patient to the nearest appropriate
hospital taking into account injuries sustained by the patient and the catchment areas for the various hospitals;
▪ Dublin North serves a population of approximately 550,000 as
opposed to 360,000 in the North East;
▪ It was agreed that there would be a future presentation on the
North Dublin Ambulance Service;

▪ The Dublin area is served by the Dublin Fire Brigade in conjunction
with the HSE. Some contractual issues are on-going between the two services. Nonetheless, the service is an integrated comprehensive one with a joint control centre at Townsend Street. The Dublin Fire Brigade staff are trained to the same level as HSE staff, and in addition, are given fire fighting training. It was noted that the ambulance service as a whole is a national service;
▪ Under European legislation, ambulance staff must have 360° access
to a patient. Therefore, the ambulance can not cater for two patients at a time. However, two ambulances are normally dispatched to the scene of an accident;
▪ There are 20 staff trained to Advanced Paramedic standard in the
North East, with five of these in County Monaghan;
▪ There is no dedicated air ambulance service in this country. The
HSE has a service level agreement with Air Corps which covers hospital transfers. However, Air Corps helicopters have become more powerful in recent years and cannot now use most of the helipads at our acute hospitals. For Beaumont Hospital, the Air Corps land at Dublin Airport and for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda it lands at the local GAA stadium. In Cavan, the Air Corps use the local military field. A fire brigade must be on standby as well as Gardai present to secure the site.
It was agreed to provide further information on the possibility and cost of providing usable helipads at the acute hospitals in Dublin North East;
▪ Patient transport systems will be dealt with in a separate
presentation at a future date;
▪ It was confirmed that there is a vehicle location and mapping
system in Ambulance Control. However, new addresses on estates may not appear on the system. New infrastructure will be developed as the two national call centres are being planned;
▪ The HSE is awaiting feedback from the Gardai’s experience regarding
the TETRA digital radio system;
▪ Pre-Hospital Thrombolysis is a development unique to Monaghan.
Direct access angioplasty may in fact supercede this development in time to come. It is a work in progress that is both positive and exciting;
▪ It was agreed to provide further information on the costs of
running the ambulance service in the North East;
▪ Hoax or trivial calls are not as big an issue as years ago.
However, mobile phone technology allows a 999 call to be made even if a SIM card is removed from the phone. This can make a call difficult to trace.
Approximately ten to 15 hoax calls are received every month;
▪ More ambulance crews are rostered during the day to cater for
non-emergency patient transport;
▪ The ambulance depot at Virginia is permanent. There are no plans
to relocate it to the site of the Primary Care Centre;
▪ Quid pro quo arrangements are in place with the health services
north of the border so that a patient can be brought to the nearest appropriate hospital even if that hospital is across the border.