Deputy Connolly has said she fully understands the frustration felt by the ambulance team with the unsuitability of their accommodation at Merlin Park. She said that despite repeated promises that this accommodation would be temporary, it is now over three years since the ambulance service was asked to move.
In this regard Deputy Connolly said that she has tabled numerous Dáil questions and has also raised the matter with the Minister in the Dáíl. Indeed, she raised it once again this week in a written Dáil question outlining the appalling conditions that the ambulance service is obliged to work from and she is awaiting a written reply.
While some headway has been made in relation to progressing the planned new ambulance service at Merlin Park, including the appointment of a design team, this has only happened, said Deputy Connolly, as a result of sustained pressure. Furthermore there are no definite start or completion dates for the construction of these new premises.
Deputy Connolly said that the conditions of the temporary premises have deteriorated further and members of the ambulance service have reported difficulties with the water, extremes of heat and cold, and the presence of rodents, to name just a few. The promise that this accommodation would be temporary, and for only three months, has not been fulfilled, and quite clearly three and a half years later, the trust between the ambulance service and management has broken down.
Given this history it is quite understandable, said Deputy Connolly, that the ambulance team has made a decision to move back to Galway University Hospital.
In the circumstances it is imperative that immediate action is taken to resolve the difficulties with the temporary accommodation and also to progress the new premises as a matter of urgency.