Ambulance response times more than a numbers game
SIPTU representatives have said that patient outcome is the only fair indicator of success when measuring response times in the National Ambulance Service.
Speaking after the publication of a HSE report into ambulance response times, SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Paul Bell said: “Our members believe inadequate road infrastructure, the increase in extreme weather events, the nature of the callouts, and the difficulties ambulance professionals are having getting from emergency departments are all having a big impact on response time figures.”
A high proportion of rural callouts mean ambulance response times will continue to struggle to significantly improve on the current figures. 12 per cent of ambulance callouts in the UK are classified as rural, compared to 40 per cent in Ireland.
He added: “The 19-minute response guidelines set down by HIQA as the key performance indicator is unrealistic. The guidelines should take into consideration patient outcome as a measurement of paramedic success, not simple headline-grabbing numbers.”