Ambulance Service under ‘severe pressure’ for months – SF Health spokesperson

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Colm Gildernew has requested a meeting with Ambulance Service over response concerns.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA was speaking after the Ambulance Service (NIAS) revealed it is investigating whether a delayed response contributed to the deaths of eight people in recent weeks.

Mr Gildernew said in a statement today: “It is deeply concerning that the Ambulance Service is investigating whether a delayed response contributed to the deaths of eight people in recent weeks.

“Our Ambulance Service has been under severe pressure for months, with crews having to wait with patients - sometimes for hours - to get into hospitals, meaning others in urgent need of ambulances also having to wait.

Ambulance service has been under severe pressure for months according to local MLA Colm Gildernew. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

“This is another example of the deteriorating situation in our health and social care system and it is deeply worrying. Sadly this is the reality of the huge pressures facing patients and staff on a daily basis.

“They are literally at crisis point. Our health workers need help now.

“After more than a decade of Tory cuts our health and social care service is crying out for substantial investment so workers can have a fair wage, to transform the system and bring to an end the cycle of services and health workers being overwhelmed.

“They want local ministers back around the Executive table, to invest an extra £1 billion in the health service, to hire more doctors and nurses and to get on with tackling chronic waiting lists and transformation of the health service.”

Mr Gildernew said he has written to the Ambulance Service requesting a meeting.

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