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Ambulance delay meant injured man lay on street for two hours

April 7th, 2019 1:02 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Skibbereen Fire Brigade and medical personnel assisted in traffic control at the scene of the accident at Bridge Street, Skibbereen.

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AN elderly man who tumbled and fell on the street in Skibbereen was left waiting for almost two hours for an ambulance to take him to CUH.

The man – who complained of neck and hip pain – was covered with a blanket where he lay at the entrance to the Fairfield car park .

He received medical attention from an off-duty paramedic, as well as a GP, but they were unable to move him until the ambulance arrived – almost two hours later.

Skibbereen fire brigade personnel were also in attendance to assist with traffic control at the busy Bridge Street junction.

The ambulance was one of eight ambulances caught up in delays arising from the ‘status black’ situation at CUH on Monday.

After repeated calls to ambulance control from the scene of the accident, a crew finally arrived from Cahirciveen in Co Kerry and the man was taken to hospital in Cork. Independent TD Michael Collins spoke in the Dáil saying: ‘West Cork had a depleted ambulance service on Monday and those who were due to end their shift at 8pm had to work on until 3am.’

He said: ‘The emergency department at CUH was completely overcrowded with people sitting on the floor, and with queues out the door, and on Tuesday morning there were 70 patients waiting for beds.’

Deputy Collins linked the over-crowding with the closure of such services as the 24-hour emergency department at Bantry hospital and he called for it to be reopened.

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