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Northern Ireland Ambulance Service ‘busy but coping’

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There had been fears that the service would have to call on support from colleagues in the Republic over one of the busiest weekends of the year for the emergency services. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

There had been fears that the service would have to call on support from colleagues in the Republic over one of the busiest weekends of the year for the emergency services. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

There had been fears that the service would have to call on support from colleagues in the Republic over one of the busiest weekends of the year for the emergency services. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said last night it was “stretched but coping” with demand over the weekend.

There had been fears that the service would have to call on support from colleagues in the Republic over one of the busiest weekends of the year for the emergency services.

“We are down a number of crews — we’re down to about eight,” a spokesman said last night.

“We are being supported by voluntary ambulance services and independent ambulance services.

"They will deal with ‘lower acuity’ cases — i.e. non life-threatening situations — to keep our crews free for more serious calls.

“We are expecting to be busy — and that is the status at the moment — but it’s nowhere near as bad as we had anticipated.”

No ambulance support from the Republic had been required, the spokesman added.

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The Department of Health’s hospital occupancy dashboard last night indicated that hospitals were operating at the limit of their capacity, with 2% beds taken up by Covid-19 patients.


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