Family critical of funding of ambulance service

Drogheda man had to be taken to hospital in Garda car because no ambulance was available

The family of Wayne McQuillan, who died on New Year’s Day:  sister Audrey, mother Bernie and father Jimmy. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson.

The family of Wayne McQuillan, who died on New Year’s Day: sister Audrey, mother Bernie and father Jimmy. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 01:00


The family of a Drogheda man, who was brought to hospital in a Garda patrol car because no ambulance was available, have hit out at the resourcing of the ambulance service.

The family of Wayne McQuillan (30) say they do not want any other family to suffer as they have done; he died a few hours after he arrived at the hospital with stab wounds.

“There should be a plan B. They should be able to call the fire brigade paramedics, if there is not an ambulance available,” his sister Audrey said at the family home in Drogheda yesterday.

Wayne died early on the January 1st. At the time, gardaí said they decided to bring him to hospital and not continue waiting for the ambulance, as they feared he was in urgent need of medical care.

The HSE, which said last night it would not be commenting further, earlier confirmed that an ambulance arrived from Ardee (about 25km away) 25 minutes after the emergency call was first received. It was, the HSE said, the nearest available resource.

“That is not acceptable,” his father Jim McQuillan said. “The HSE is letting everybody down. My son is dead, he is not going to come back.

“What we are saying and why we are highlighting this is maybe, maybe somebody else’s son or daughter maybe saved or some other person that needs an ambulance.”

With his wife Bernadette and their daughter, he said they were speaking for Wayne. Mr McQuillan said the cuts being imposed by the Government on the HSE “are not acceptable. They are not getting their priorities right.

“The health service is more important than a lot of things they have dealt with. Surely life is more important. He didn’t get a 50-50 chance, we don’t know if he could have been saved,” he added.

The family said they had not had any contact from the HSE. “Not one [person] has even approached us, not even to apologise or give their side. We have heard nothing from anyone whatsoever,” Mr McQuillan said.

He said he would like to have seen more people at a public meeting in Drogheda this week to discuss the situation. “They forget the fact that maybe one day it will concern them.”