Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Paramedic suspended after 999 call delay

A paramedic working in Londonderry has been suspended from duty following a delay in responding to a 999 call-out.

An investigation will now be carried out by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service into what caused the delay.

The incident is believed to have occurred towards the end of a shift.

Maggie Reilly of the Western Patient Council said: “The important thing now will be for the inquiry to be carried out as quickly as possible so that the service can return to normal.

“The loss of a paramedic due to suspension will put the service under a strain so the sooner an investigation is carried out and is done and dusted the better.

“I understand this is a fairly straightforward case so it should not take too long to resolve, it's either a case of ‘a' or ‘b'.

“The important thing is to get the service running again and to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

“Certain protocols will have to be followed to make sure a fair hearing is given.”

Ms Reilly added that patient safety was paramount and at no time would a member of the public be at risk.

A spokesman for the Ambulance Trust said: “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is aware of this alleged incident and is carrying out a full investigation.”

“While the investigation is ongoing, the member of staff will, as a precautionary measure, remain suspended from duty. The provision of the highest quality of patient care, including speed of response, remains a priority for NIAS.”

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