Varadkar announces change to staffing of ambulances carrying seriously ill children

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has announced the launch of a new critical-care ambulance service to transfer seriously ill children between hospitals.

Varadkar announces change to staffing of ambulances carrying seriously ill children

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has announced the launch of a new critical-care ambulance service to transfer seriously ill children between hospitals.

The Paediatric Retrieval Service is now transferring seriously ill children up to 16 years of age to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, and to the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, from hospitals anywhere in Ireland.

“Up to now, transferring a child from a regional hospital to a national centre involved a doctor, often a junior doctor, travelling with the child and then back,” Minister Varadkar said.

“This wasn’t always ideal for the child, and would also leave the regional hospital understaffed for a period of time.

“Now there is a dedicated team of specialists who travel to collect the child, providing expert care for the child from the moment they arrive.

“The clinical retrieval team usually includes a paediatric doctor and a specialist paediatric nurse, along with specialist equipment. Equally, no hospital is left short-staffed during the transfer period.

“The neonatal service has already made a big difference to cases involving newborn babies, bringing critical care teams to neonatal patients across Ireland and transferring them between hospitals. I hope we can extend it to adults when resources allow.”

More in this section