Urgent meeting needed with HSE

AT last week’s meeting of Offaly County Council Cllr Noel Bourke said that he wanted the promised meeting with the HSE to take place as soon as possible.

AT last week’s meeting of Offaly County Council Cllr Noel Bourke said that he wanted the promised meeting with the HSE to take place as soon as possible.

Cllr Bourke said that he noted in correspondence from the HSE that they are prepared to meet councillors to discuss the ambulance service and as far as the Edenderry service is concerned there are two issues that need to be sorted out. Firstly, getting proper accommodation for personnel who work in the ambulance service and secondly getting the service extended to include a night service as well as a day service.

“The present accommodation is totally unsatisfactory from both a staff point of view and the general efficiency of the service and improved accommodation must be got as a matter of urgency in fairness to the staff and for the proper storage of equipment etc,” said Cllr Bourke who added that he was glad to note in correspondence from the HSE that they are exploring options regarding alternative accommodation in Edenderry but this must be pursued vigorously.

Cllr Bourke said that it was interesting to note in the correspondence from the HSE that since Edenderry was established as a day duty station the ambulance based there has responded to almost 1,300 calls and this makes the case very strongly for the service to be extended to include a night as well as a day service.

After the council meeting Cllr Bourke arranged for the six councillors from the Edenderry area to have a meeting with the County Manager to discuss accommodation for the ambulance service in Edenderry. The County Manager said that while this is primarily the responsibility of the HSE, he and his staff are prepared to work with the HSE to assist them in securing accommodation.

Cllr Bourke said he also wanted Ofalia House on the agenda when they meet the HSE as there was a lot of concern locally about bed closures there. He said that as far as he can establish approximately 30% of the beds are not being used at present as well as a number of respite beds and it would appear that when residents vacate Ofalia House for whatever reason, they are not being replaced by others.