Griffin Assured on South Kerry Ambulances
Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) KERRY
Thursday, March 14th, 2013.
KERRY Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, has received assurances from the Director of the National Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, that no decisions have been made and no timeframe agreed in relation to changes to south Kerry Ambulance Services.
In a response to Deputy Griffin’s most recent query on the matter, Robert Morton said that the National Ambulance Service is progressively and successfully addressing the issue of eliminating on call arrangements across County Cork and that Phase 3 of the Plan is scheduled to be implemented in West Cork in the near future. Once this phase is complete, Mr. Morton said that planning for Phase 4 (South Kerry) can be finalised, which will include Stations in Caherciveen, Killarney and Kenmare.
Mr. Morton stressed that at this time, no dates have been identified to complete this work and no decisions have been made. He also said that North Kerry Stations will be examined in Phase 5 at some future date and will include Dingle, Tralee and Listowel.
Mr. Morton assured Deputy Griffin that as in each Phase to date, any decisions made have been preceded by detailed consideration of activity, geography, demographics, location of acute hospitals, supporting service availability and wider NAS developments as well as public, political and community leader engagement. He also added that unique considerations also included peninsular areas.
Deputy Griffin particularly welcomed Mr. Morton’s commitment that it is the intention of both the HSE South and NAS Management that following consideration of all of the issues pertaining to South Kerry, the final outcome of deliberations will be communicated to Oireachtas Members, Regional Health Forum members, public representatives, General Practitioners and Community Leaders before any final decisions are made and any implementation planned.
Deputy Griffin was also told that once NAS and HSE deliberations are nearing completion, the HSE would arrange a briefing session on what model of service delivery it is believed will best serve the area going forward but that no dates have been identified to complete this work and no decisions have been made.
Mr. Morton expressed concern that a protest group called“Save Our Kenmare Ambulance” is actively promoting the message that the HSE will be implementing cutbacks to services locally. He said that the HSE is not aware of the source of this information but that the HSE can state that given no decisions have been made, this information is inaccurate and is clearly causing or likely to cause unnecessary public anxiety about a highly valued community service.
Deputy Griffin has vowed to continue to liaise with the National Ambulance Service on behalf of the people of South Kerry into the future to ensure that any changes in the future will be changes for the better and will result in all of South and North Kerry having a responsive and dependable ambulance service and has called for discussion on the issue to be based on the facts.”
Further information from Brendan on 087 652 8841