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Irish News

“Respite care thrown into chaos due to ambulance withdrawals,” McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to immediately reinstall the provision of ambulance services for respite care residents at Cluain Arann Community Nursing Unit in Tipperary. Deputy McGrath was speaking as the withdrawal of the service has led to many residents having to forego the option of respite care due to the lack of suitable transport to convey them from their homes to the Unit:

“The decision by the HSE and NAS to withdraw ambulance services for the Unit is having dire knock on effects both for the service users and indeed for their families.

Up to now it was possible for an ambulance to be made available to transport the service user from their homes to Cluain Arann, but that has now stopped, with dreadful consequences.

As I understand it the coordinating service which scheduled the ambulances and which was previously based in Wexford has now been moved to Tallaght.

This has led to a total vacuum in local knowledge and a major deterioration of the service.

Many of the carers of these extremely ill people are now having to wait almost seven weeks for any kind of break because they cannot get their loved ones to Cluain Arann.

The Wheelchair Association have in turn been overrun with requests for assistance.

This is causing serious difficulties across the region and it must be addressed at once,” concluded Deputy McGrath.