Northern Ireland

Charlie Brown: NI Ambulance Service ‘apologises unreservedly’ over delay arriving at scene where Co Down GAA player lay injured

There have been appeals for prayers for Charlie Brown following the incident in Rostrevor on March 31

Charlie Brown (left) with brother Eamon and parents Aidan and Attracta

The Ambulance service has said it “apologises unreservedly” after it emerged it took paramedics an hour-and-a-half to arrive at the scene of the alleged assault of a young Co Down GAA player.

There have been appeals for prayers for Charlie Brown after he was injured in Rostrevor on March 31.

Police have said the 21-year-old Clonduff GAC player suffered “serious head injuries after he fell to the ground following an altercation at a licensed premises in the Bridge Street area”.

A spokesperson said on Friday that the young man’s condition was described as “critical but stable”.

However, it has emerged that despite a 999 call received by the NIAS at 9.05pm, an ambulance crew did not arrive at the scene until 10.33pm.

A spokesman for the NIAS told The Irish News that the response time “is not acceptable”.

“The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 21:05 on 31 March following reports of an assault in the Bridge Street area of Rostrevor,” he said.

“Due to the situation at the time in terms of available ambulances, a crew did not arrive at the scene until 22:33.

“NIAS accepts that the response time to this incident is not acceptable and apologises, unreservedly.

“We deeply regret any delay in response to patients who require an emergency ambulance.

“At present the service is under considerable pressure, due primarily to the challenges faced across the Health and Social Care System resulting in extended periods of patient handover for our crews at emergency departments across the region.”

Fear was ‘more acute’ among certain groups, including ambulance technicians and paramedics, the report found
The NIAS said the response time “is not acceptable”

The spokesman added that to “address the current challenges, we utilise an internationally-recognised system to prioritise ambulance responses to patients who require immediately life-saving interventions”.

“At times of increased demand on the service, patients with less critical conditions will, unfortunately, wait longer for an ambulance response,” he said.

“NIAS has and continues to increase the number of paramedics working in our control room who can contact patients waiting for an ambulance to check that there has been no deterioration in their condition, and to determine if there is any potential for taking a patient to hospital by other means.”

Following news of Mr Brown’s injuries last week, Clonduff GAC, which faced tragedy in recent weeks when another of its members, Lorcan Branagan, died in Australia, appealed for prayers.

Please pray for our Senior Footballer Charlie Brown, who is currently in intensive care. We are keeping Charlie, the...

Posted by Clonduff Gac on Friday 5 April 2024

In a post on Facebook, it said: “Please pray for our Senior Footballer Charlie Brown, who is currently in intensive care.

“We are keeping Charlie, the Brown and Linden Families, his team mates and friends in our prayers at this very worrying time.

“Wishing Charlie a full and speedy recovery - you’ve got this Charlie.”

Mr Brown and his brother Eamon were part of Ulster University’s Sigerson Cup winning team in February of this year.

Ulster University GAA also urged people to pray for the young man and his family “at this very worrying time”.

“Charlie remains in intensive care in an induced coma after an assault,” the university team said on social media.

“We pray that Charlie makes a full and speedy recovery”.

A 24-year-old man questioned on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent was later released on police bail pending further police enquiries.