The HSE has issued a statement on a recent case, highlighted by Pearse Doherty TD, where a mother had to drive her unconscious child to hospital despite an ambulance having arrived to the scene.
In its statement, the HSE said that the incident occurred within a “five minute drive” of the hospital.
The HSE statement reads: “On Monday, November 12, there was one full crew and an advanced paramedic working alone on duty in Letterkenny at the time the emergency call was received; there were a total of seven ambulance crews on duty in Donegal at the time. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the advanced paramedic (who would regularly be utilised nationwide as a sole responder) was working alone from 1700-2000 hours.
“The emergency call required an advanced paramedic response and the advanced paramedic was despatched to the scene. Although an ambulance and gardaí were en route to the scene, the clinical need of the patient took precedence and the advanced paramedic made a clinical decision to travel to hospital in the back of a car driven by the mother of the patient. The hospital was a five minute drive from the scene and the clinical decision was made to attend the hospital immediately rather than await the arrival of the second ambulance.”