30/04/2004

Helicopter ambulance feasibility study published

Health Minister, Angela Smith, and her Irish counterpart, Micheál Martin, today announced the publication of a study on the feasibility of an all-Ireland helicopter ambulance service.

The Report concluded that the tertiary role may be the most appropriate in an all-island context.

The Report identified three possible roles for a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS):
  • Primary Response – travelling directly to the scene of an incident to take the patient to hospital
  • Secondary Response – meeting a ground ambulance to speed up the patient’s journey to a hospital
  • Tertiary Response – the planned, rapid transfer between hospitals of patients requiring specialist care, escorted by skilled professionals


Ms Smith said: “This study will make an important contribution to the debate on the future development of pre-hospital emergency care North and South.

“My Department is already working closely with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the four Health and Social Services Boards to improve ambulance services in terms of speed, appropriateness of response and clinical quality. Our strategic priority is to improve 999 response times over the next few years, especially in remote and isolated rural communities.

“Actions already in the pipeline include upgrading control and communication systems, enhancing the clinical skills of ambulance crews, deploying ambulances more effectively, and introducing a systematic fleet replacement programme.”

The two Health Departments commissioned the Feasibility Study under the aegis of the North South Ministerial Council.

(MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 August 2019
Cross-Border Disparities Uncovered In Children's Visual Health
A disparity has been uncovered between the visual health of local children when compared to those in the Republic of Ireland. According to research, children living across the border are four times more likely to suffer from amblyopia, more commonly known as a lazy eye, after the optimum treatment period than children in Northern Ireland.
08 July 2008
Emergency Ambulance Service 'Cuts' Denied
Although there remains a need to make around £1.5m in savings, alleged 'cuts' to the NI Ambulance Service have been refuted. NI Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey responded this afternoon to earlier claims over cutbacks and insisted that there are no plans to reduce funding for ambulance services.
01 April 2008
Ambulance Crew Involved In M1 Crash
An ambulance crew has been involved in a crash in Belfast as they were attempting to resuscitate a young baby on the M1 motorway. The crew had been flagged down on Kennedy Way to help an infant who had stopped breathing, when a lorry collided with the ambulance at 11am today. The lorry was approaching the Broadway roundabout.
12 August 2019
Dog Attack Leaves Young Boy In Hospital
A young boy is receiving treatment in hospital after he was attacked by a dog in County Tyrone. Police said the incident happened in the village of Sion Mills on Sunday 11 August. The youngster was left shaken by the dog attack, which is understood to have been the second in the area in just two weeks. The dog warden has been informed.
02 April 2009
999 Gets '66 Boost'
News of the delivery of 66 brand new vehicles for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has been hailed today as a major step forward.