Tipperary Ambulance Action Group (TAAG) is calling on the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to provide responses on their implementation of alarming and impending reductions to the Roster arrangements in Cashel Ambulance Station. Currently Cashel has two ambulances on 12 and 9 hour shift arrangements.
Cashel Ambulance Station has been railroaded into submitting a 9 person roster, the deadline of which was 21st April. The threat of not doing this will see the NAS forcing through this implementation by serving notice to SIPTU under that Haddington Road Agreement within a three week period. With recent drastic reductions in rostering and consequential impacts on the Ambulance Service to both Clonmel and Tipperary Ambulance Stations in March, any implementations in Cashel, will see South Tipperary down to skeletal levels of service. Prior to the March implementations, the South Tipperary Ambulance Service at its very best could conceivably reach 40,000 people – only 45% of the population of South Tipperary – on life-saving Echo and Delta Emergency Call-outs, which is based upon TAAG’s own survey and assessment. However, this was based upon the Service operating at 100% capacity and efficiency.
The recent RTE Prime Time An Ambulance Service in Crisis on 23rd March showed that while best international practise sought levels of 85% efficiency on call-out targets, in reality, Ireland regularly met its Ambulance Targets 40% of the time. This strongly infers that the actual population, which reside within any safety net cast by the ambulances is far less that 45%. Equally alarming is that the NAS in some very disingenuous manoeuvring further stipulates in relation to the changes at Cashel Ambulance Station that this move is to match activity level in Cashel. TAAG has been earnestly campaigning for a cessation in a significant number of instances of Cashel ambulance being logged as call-outs from Clonmel Ambulance Station. TAAG has been continuously calling upon the NAS and its Director, Martin Dunne, to both provide answers to a series submitted questions.