Ambulance Service Reform

Ambulance Service Reform

A significant reform programme is underway in the National Ambulance Service (NAS), to modernise the way the HSE manages and delivers pre-hospital care services, for a clinically driven, nationally co-ordinated system, supported by improved technology. This will support the acute hospital system and ensure that pre-hospital care is delivered in an appropriate and timely manner.

National Emergency Operations Centre

Regional control centres have been rationalised to one national centre on two sites, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) in Tallaght and Ballyshannon.

The reform project is delivering improved technology.  Developments such as digital radio, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), mobile data and electronic patient care reporting will allow the NAS to deploy resources more effectively, nationally, rather than within small geographic areas.  The national CAD system went live in September 2015, and is transforming ambulance service operations and emergency vehicle deployment.  Eircode has now been mapped onto the CAD.

Intermediate Care Service (ICS)

The ICS focuses on inter-hospital transfers and low acuity, non-emergency transport, freeing up the emergency fleet to respond to emergency calls. The ICS now undertakes over 80% of inter-facility transfers.

Working Arrangements

Working arrangements have been modernised to reflect standard national working arrangements. These changes include moving from on call to on duty rostering, so that highly trained paramedic staff are in their vehicles or bases during shifts and able to be deployed to 999 calls immediately. On duty rostering, with its much faster deployment, is now in place in much of the State.

Emergency Aeromedical Support

The EAS service provides dedicated aeromedical support to the NAS in the west, specifically where land ambulance transit times would not be clinically appropriate. The service is provided by the Air Corps and the National Ambulance Service, with additional support provided by the Irish Coast Guard.