IAEM welcomes ongoing service improvements in the National Ambulance Service (NAS)
It is widely accepted that optimal emergency care of patients requires both well resourced and staffed Emergency Departments (EDs) but also a modern Ambulance Service resourced with skilled staff and supported by up-to-date technology and systems. Members of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) have witnessed, at first hand, the significant advances being made in the capability of the NAS over recent years. The NAS has made huge advances in upskilling its staff and restructuring its operations as part of its quest to achieve the goal of timely, efficient and effective prehospital patient care. Recent initiatives such as the:
- Rationalisation of control centre functions to two sites nationally;
- elimination of Paramedic ‘on call’ arrangements in favour of ‘on shift’ arrangements;
- development of clinical key performance indicators;
- targeted deployment of Advanced Paramedics;
- response across historic service area boundaries;
- establishment of an emergency aeromedical service;
- appointment of a national Medical Director
are very much in line with international best practice. These steps will contribute to achieving improved response times in line with HIQA recommendations and will enhance clinical aspects of prehospital care.
The longstanding teamwork between Emergency Medicine and the Ambulance Service has been formalised in the Emergency Medicine Programme which will lead to future enhanced cooperation and collaboration with our clinical partners in NAS to the benefit of our patients.
In achieving these milestones, the Association acknowledges the efforts and commitment of NAS Medical Director, Dr. Cathal O’Donnell and fellow IAEM members who provide medical direction and oversight within NAS.