Cork ambulance staff suspended over emergency transfer request

Cork ambulance staff suspended over emergency transfer request
Ambulance staff are angry over the incident which occurred at the weekend. File Pic.

Six ambulance staff in Cork have been reprimanded after telling management they were unable to safely carry out an emergency request to drive to Dublin as they were approaching the end of a 12-hour shift.

Two ambulance workers were suspended, two more were cautioned and two others were spoken to following the incident over the weekend that saw the emergency request to transfer an infant to Crumlin Hospital passed through three crews.

The transfer was eventually taken by Macroom ambulance staff at 6.15am after the call went out 5am on Monday morning.

The concerns raised from the ambulance staff were centred around the health and safety of both the patient and themselves due to potential fatigue.

A meeting was held last night by ambulance staff and they have collectively written to management about the incident.

It is understood paramedics are angry over the incident and have received support from colleagues around the country.

It is understood there is an on-call system in place from 6am to 9am that has fresh staff on call for emergency transfers that was not utilised.

National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA), the ambulance personnel branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association of Ireland (PNA), which represents a large number of paramedics and ambulance staff, said they could not comment as the case was under investigation.

NASRA did say that in general terms, it had to be open to ambulance crews to carry out risk assessments in terms of their own safety and the safety of patients.

The HSE responded to an Evening Echo query regarding the incident to say they cannot comment on individual cases or individual staff members.

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