Only one in four ambulances meet Limerick hospital target time 

The ambulance bay at University Hospital Limerick

JUST over one quarter of ambulances bringing seriously ill and injured patients to University Hospital Limerick get to deliver the patient and turn around in the target time of 30 minutes.

That’s according to new figures just released by the emergency services, which show the number of ambulances making the target time at UHL is just 27.3 per cent.

But UHL is not the slowest turnaround time. Only 9.3 per cent of ambulances arriving at University Hospital Galway get to turn around in the 30 minute window and Mayo University Hospital is even slower, with just 5.9 per cent of ambulances getting away on time.

8,345 people were taken to UHL by ambulance last year and 299 patients arrived at St John’s Hospital while 14 were transported to Croom Orthopaedic Hospital by ambulance.

351 people were brought to Ennis by ambulance in the same time span and 213 to Nenagh.

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The ‘Pathfinder’ programme, due to be implemented this Summer, will help reduce the number of people who have to travel to hospital to avail of treatment.

Specially trained and qualified paramedics will be dispatched to assess whether it is necessary for patients, particularly older people, to be exposed to conditions in the busy emergency department.

University of Limerick Hospitals Group chief executive Colette Cowan said recruitment has already started for the Pathfinder programme and that it is on course to begin before September.

The hospital group is also asking people to make full use of minor inury units at St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh if possible.