Claim ambulance trolleys used in A&Es


AMBULANCES ARE out of service at two Dublin hospitals for several hours at a time because their trolleys are used for patients in the A&E departments, a Dublin Fire Brigade source has said.

When patients are brought to hospital by ambulance, paramedics must wait until their vehicle’s trolley is retrieved before they can return to service. Delays in retrieving trolleys are minimal in most Dublin hospitals, ambulance staff can wait for several hours a number of times a week at the Mater and Beaumont.

The fire brigade source said on May 25th last, up to eight ambulances were detained at the Mater hospital, one of which waited on its trolley from 3.30pm until 10.45pm. On May 25th an ambulance was called to an incident in the north Clondalkin area where two men had been stabbed. No ambulance was available, so a fire engine carrying medical equipment had to be dispatched and had to remain at the scene until an ambulance became free.

Labour councillor Robert Dowds, who was aware of the Clondalkin incident, said the fire brigade and ambulance services must be permitted to do their job. “It turns out that this situation occurs quite frequently, sometimes on a daily basis. It is potentially very dangerous as both fire brigade and ambulance might not be available when required.”

A spokesman for the Mater said there were ongoing capacity issues in north Dublin. A spokesman for Beaumont Hospital said it had similar capacity issues.