New ambulance base for Buncrana
The Buncrana Medical Centre on McCarter’s Road is to be adapted to provide a second permanent ambulance base for Inishowen.
This follows Buncrana’s GP practice moving to the new Primary Care Centre in the town from the Medical Centre.
The existing ambulance base is at Carndonagh.
The service in Buncrana will initially be a 12-hour service, seven days a week.
The National Ambulance Service (NAS) are finalising plans to adapt the old health centre.
The service will eventually become a 24-hour service running seven days a week.
“We are working extensively with the HSE Estates team to progress the development of a full ambulance base in Buncrana, which is currently at design stage,” the National Ambulance Service said in a statement.
NAS currently operates a permanent base at Carndonagh, which operates one day-crew and one night-crew on 12-hour shifts which start and end at 8am and 8pm.
The NAS says an additional shift starts in Carndonagh 10am-10pm, which is deployed to Buncrana once their shift starts, and they then operate from there for the remainder of the shift.
A so-called ‘deployment point’ has seen ambulances stationed at the Buncrana Nursing Unit in recent times.
Aside from this, the NAS highlighted the operation of the community paramedic car, also known as the rapid response vehicle, across the county.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the paramedic car is attached to Buncrana Health Centre assisting GPs.
They operate a ‘hospital avoidance role’, attending non urgent calls with a view to treating people in their home if possible.