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The National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said today (Friday, 24th March) that it was deeply disappointed and concerned with the findings of today’s HIQA review of progress in implementing recommendations on pre-hospital emergency care services.

NASRA said it was clear that three years on from the original HIQA Review of National Ambulance Service (NAS) the safety and care of patients relying on the ambulance services are still being compromised by issues such as lack of capacity, under-staffing and over reliance on overtime.

NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon said that while there had been progress on recruitment into the NAS, management must accept the reality that it is extremely difficult to attract recruits to the NAS when pay and conditions have been progressively eroded in recent years due to austerity and public service pay agreement cuts.

‘NAS will not be able to effectively recruit to the levels required by HIQA while current pay and conditions remain in place and management must acknowledge this and come forward with a realistic recruitment programme.’

Mr Dixon said the citizens of Dublin can be reassured by the professionalism and dedication of the national ambulance service and Dublin Fire Brigade even in relation to the ongoing issues regarding the call and dispatch centre operations. However, the service needs more investment and staff if it is to fully meet the growing year-on-year increase in the demand on services.

Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 0862430535/ Michael Dixon 0862704736