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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has welcomed confirmation from the National Ambulance Service (NAS) that it intends to trial the operation of an emergency ambulance in the Midleton area from this September.

The current ambulance cover for the Midleton area is one Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) with an advanced paramedic which operates on a 24/7 basis. This is supported by NAS resources from surrounding bases including Cork City and Youghal. The NAS has confirmed that it proposes to introduce an emergency ambulance staffed by both an advanced paramedic and a paramedic to operate between 8am-8pm when the service is at its busiest. The existing RRV and advanced paramedic will provide support from 8pm-8am.

“I am pleased that the NAS intends to trial the operation of a daytime emergency ambulance with additional staff and that the existing RVV will continue to operate as normal over the night-time period” said Minister Stanton.

“It is intended that the trial period will run for six months from September 2018 to March 2019. An analysis of the service will then be conducted and the data will be reviewed and used to inform future NAS service provision for the Midleton area”.

A strategic national plan for ambulance services, Vision 2020, is currently being developed by a steering group comprising of cross-sectoral HSE representatives. Vision 2020 will build on the findings of the first capacity review of the NAS conducted in 2015 and HIQA staffing recommendations to address the demands and changes facing the ambulance service.