Ambulance delay forced gardaí into hospital mission

Wayne McQuillan's sister Audrey, mother Bernadette, and father Jim. Picture Ciara Wilkinson

The family of a man who was brought to hospital in a garda patrol car because there was no ambulance available have hit out at the resourcing of the ambulance service.

The family of Wayne McQuillan, 30, said they do not want any other family to suffer as they have done. He passed away a few hours after he arrived at the hospital with stab wounds.

“There should be a plan B,” said his sister Audrey at the family home in Drogheda yesterday. “They should be able to call the fire brigade paramedics if there is not an ambulance available.

Wayne died on Jan 1. At the time, gardaí said they decided to bring Wayne to hospital and not to continue to wait for the ambulance, as they feared he was in urgent need of medical care.

The HSE confirmed that an ambulance arrived 25 minutes after the emergency call was first received. The ambulance that responded was, the HSE said, the nearest available resource.

“The ambulance had to come from Ardee, that is not acceptable,” said Wayne’s father Jim. “The HSE is letting everybody down. My son is dead, he is not going to come back. What we are saying and why we are highlighting this is maybe, maybe somebody else’s son or daughter maybe saved or some other person that needs an ambulance.”

Mr McQuillan said the family were speaking up for Wayne.

He said the cuts being imposed by the Government on the HSE “are not acceptable. They are not getting their priorities right,” he said.

Addressing Minister for Health James Reilly, Mr McQuillan said: “Look at it from our perspective. The health service is more important than a lot of things they [Government] has dealt with. Surely life is more important.”

Audrey added: “Being a doctor, he [Dr Reilly] should know this himself. He should know more than anyone else where resources are needed. He should know from being at the frontline exactly what it is the HSE needs.”

The family said they have not had any contact from the HSE. “Not one has even approached us, not even to apologise or give their side. We have heard nothing from anyone whatsoever,” said Mr McQuillan.


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