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Ambulance Service

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of (a) the facilities and (b) the extent of ambulance cover in the Strabane district council area in each of the last three years; and whether ambulance service staff usually employed in the Strabane area have been redeployed to Derry since the opening of the new Northland Road base. (76220)

Ambulance cover in the Strabane district council area is provided from stations in Strabane and Castlederg. A 2004-05 Estate Appraisal, carried out by the Health Estates Agency, identified the need for separate male and female facilities at Strabane ambulance station and some minor alterations at Castlederg ambulance station. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is currently making arrangements to carry out this work.

During the last three years, ambulance cover has been provided as follows:

Days

Strabane Ambulance Station

08.00 to 20.00 hours (1 A and E crew)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

08.00 to 20.00 hours cover provided from Altnagelvin

Thursday

20.00 to 08.00 hours (1 A and E crew)

Monday to Sunday

Castlederg Ambulance Station

08.00 to 17.00 hours (1 A and E crew)

Monday to Saturday

17.00 to 23.00 hours (cover provided by Strabane and Omagh stations)

Monday to Saturday

08.00 to 23.00 hours (cover provided by Strabane and Omagh stations)

Sunday

23.00 to 08.00 hours (1 A and E crew)

Monday to Sunday

No ambulance crews have been redeployed from the Strabane or Castlederg ambulance stations to stations in Derry. Cover at the new Northland Road deployment point is provided by Altnagelvin Ambulance Station crews. As NIAS deploys ambulance resources dynamically to match predicted and actual demand, Strabane or Castlederg ambulances may respond to incidents in Derry. However, control staff ensure that time spent by crews away from their base station is kept to a minimum.