Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

26th November 2019


Breathnach says ambulance turnover times in Louth are shocking


-Only 17.6% of ambulances arriving at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda were ready to be dispatched again in the recommended 20-minute turn over time-

Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach has said the turnover times for ambulances arriving at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda are shocking. Ambulance turnaround times measure the time interval from ambulance arrival at a hospital, to when the crew is ready to accept another call. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have said that all hospitals in Ireland should monitor the implementation of 95% of patients being handed over from an ambulance crew to the emergency department staff in less than 20 minutes. The HSE monitors it at 30 minutes with a target of 95% turnaround in that time.


The figures show that Louth has a success rate of just 17.6% within the 20-minute turnover time and a 46% rate within the 30-minute turnover time. These wait times are much higher than Louth’s 2017 figures, which were 36% in the 20-minute timeframe and 71% in the 30-minute timeframe. The figures were supplied by the Department of Health after a Parliamentary Question was put down by Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Deputy Stephen Donnelly.


Commenting on the figures, Breathnach said “The increase in ambaulance turnaround times is another reflection of the pressures on our hospitals and the lack of capacity to cope. This is because emergency departments are too busy and with too few staff to process a patient coming in by ambulance.”



Breathnach concluded “It’s a vicious cycle; emergency departments are overcrowded, causing delays in taking patients from ambulances, causing increased ambulance response times. When ambulance response times worsen, people in emergencies are left in a very dangerous situation. Minister Simon Harris should never have allowed the situation to come to this.”


Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)
(T) 01 6183549 (Email)