Gamma, the leading location intelligence services provider, has today revealed the counties with the longest average travel times to A&E departments.

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. The findings are based on an analysis of where the people in each county live relative to the roads and the hospital network.

Carlow residents are the worst off, with those needing emergency care facing an average distance of 40km – approximately a 37-minute drive during off-peak times. The county’s entire population is 20km or more from an A&E. People living in Leitrim, meanwhile, are on average 39km from their nearest A&E facility. In fact, half of the county is more than 42km from one.

Donegal was found to be the third worst county with an average distance of 36km, followed by Longford and Mayo at 32km and 31km respectively. The average travel times for the five worst counties exceed 31 minutes.

At the other end of the spectrum, the best-served county is Dublin, with an average distance of 5km, which equates to approximately 10 minutes on the road. Some 88% of its population live within 10km of a hospital with an emergency department, while 63% are within 5km. Just 4% of people in Dublin live more than 20km from their closest emergency department.

Louth is the second best-served county at 8km, followed by Kilkenny which has an average distance of 14km to the nearest emergency department. On average, people in Meath and Limerick have a distance of 16km to travel to A&E.

Speaking about the results, 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, we 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.”

This analysis of hospital proximity is the latest work carried out as part of Gamma’s ‘Location Insights’ series. The series is presented by Gamma to showcase the power of location intelligence to answer questions relating to Irish society.

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