O’Neill on the frontline with ambulance service staff

Date published: 12 August 2016


Health Minister Michelle O’Neill was on the frontline with the Ambulance Service in Belfast this evening.

Michelle O’Neill visited the Ambulance Service’s emergency control centre, listening to 999 calls as they came through and engaging with the call handlers, before travelling with paramedics in a rapid response vehicle to deal with real time incidents.

After spending the evening with paramedics the Minister praised the commitment and dedication of the Ambulance Service staff and said: “I wanted to see first-hand the Ambulance Service control room operations and to accompany a crew on deployment.

“The Ambulance Service is one of our key frontline health and social care services and I commend the Service for its dedication to patients and the support which it gives to our community at a time of increasing demand.”

During her visit the Minister discussed with the Ambulance Service’s senior management team the pressures currently faced by the Service and their plans to improve performance within available resources.  

Notes to editors: 

1. The Ambulance Service (NIAS) has a number of functions:

  • responding to emergency and urgent calls (including clinical triage and advice to non-emergency callers and offering alternatives to hospital attendance and emergency ambulance response)
  • non-emergency patient care and transportation (admissions, hospital outpatient appointments, discharges and inter-hospital transfers);
  • specialised health transport services (patients with specialist health needs such as organ transplant and access to critical/intensive care facilities)
  • training and education of ambulance professionals
  • planning for coordination of major events and incidents
  • community engagement and education.

2. Media enquiries about this press release to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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