'We're going backwards, not forwards' - McGrath
DUBLIN TD Finian McGrath has said that ambulance turnaround delays at Beaumont Hospital are "a disgrace" and he intends to raise the issue in the Dail today.
"I am appalled that this situation could arise. To have patients treated like this is an absolute disgrace," the Independent Deputy for Dublin North Central said.
"We've been promised action at emergency departments for the last three weeks but ambulances are being blocked up leaving vast swathes of the city and suburbs without an ambulance service.
"We are going backwards rather than forwards."
Dublin Central Labour TD Joe Costello was equally critical.
"No ambulance should be off the road because of a shortage of beds or trolleys. The potential for an emergency is always there and to have seven ambulances tied up at a hospital is not acceptable," he said.
"Whatever is required to resolve this situation needs to happen immediately."
Lorraine Monaghan of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said: "It is totally unacceptable that ambulances can be delayed in this way."
She blamed delayed discharges of patients who are healthy but need nursing home or home help care for creating overcrowding in emergency departments that causes delays to ambulances.
"It's a disgraceful situation, but it will continue until there's proper investment in nursing home beds and elderly care and support," she said.