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Revealed: the county where residents have to travel the furthest to an A&E department



Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma

Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma

Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma

People living in Carlow, Leitrim and Donegal have the furthest distance in the country to travel to their nearest emergency department.

According to recent analysis of residences, and their relation to roads and the hospital network, Carlow fared the worst.

Location intelligence services provider Gamma found that residents in this county must travel an average of 40km to their nearest A&E.

This equates to around a 37-minute car journey - and that's not during rush hour.

Closely following behind in terms of distance for those needing emergency care are Leitrim residents, who are on average 39km from their nearest A&E, and Donegal, with an average distance of 36km.

Gamma, which provides location-based insights to Ireland’s leading companies, has found that residents in Carlow, Leitrim and Donegal have the longest average distances in the country to travel to an emergency department.

Taking into account Longford (32km distance) and Mayo (31km away), the average travel time to an emergency department for the five worst counties exceeds 31 minutes.

Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma, said "the amount of time it takes for people to get to their nearest hospital is obviously very important, especially in cases of emergency.

"On average, people in Carlow and Leitrim would be on the road for almost 40 minutes to reach their nearest emergency department."

By processing Eircode data and using location intelligent software and routing algorithms, O'Neill said that Gamma can determine the relative accessibility for the population in relation to A&E departments.

"We can also apply other characteristics that provide a more detailed view, such as age groups, car access and reliable public transport.

"This information can be used by public and private sector organisations to make well-informed decisions regarding location, helping to ensure the Irish population is better-provided for in terms of services like housing, healthcare, protection, retail services and amenities."

Unsurprisingly, the best-served county is Dublin, where residents travel on average 10 minutes - or 5km - to their nearest A&E.

While 88pc of residents here live within 10km of an emergency department, 63pc are in fact within 5km, and just 4pc live more than 20km away.

Louth, with a distance of 8km to nearest A&E, and Kilkenny, with an average distance of 14km, make up the three best-served counties.

Last month, Gamma highlighted Supervalu as the most convenient supermarket in Ireland, the store closest for almost one third (32pc) of the population here.

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