Tony Heffernan, Founder BUMBLEance Children’s Ambulance & Saoirse Foundation

The constant drive to improve performance, processes and deliver greater efficiencies is a common trend across all previous posts of this blog. We all appreciate the pace that which healthcare is ever-changing, the constant need to embrace new technology, big data, innovation and compliance, all of which are the focus of some almost every healthcare systems, and rightly so, as we all want them to deliver better outcomes for the patient.

However, are we really making progress? Over many years I have seen and experienced the healthcare system here in Ireland, as both a service user and as an advocate, and sometimes I do get frustrated by the lack of overall progress. These frustrations are not just for the lack of timely investment or delays in implementing improvements, but are primarily down to the wastage of “TIME” and the increasing loss of the “human touch”.

With our BUMBLEance children’s ambulance service, we deal with the parents and their sick children on a daily basis, transporting them across the country in child friendly and fun vehicles, in and out of treatment centres from any part of Ireland.

A lot of the children we support have complex medical conditions, many of them are life limiting however we always aim to deliver smiles and compassion in equal measure. Our aim is to distract, comfort and entertain Ireland’s Youngest and most sick patients as they travel, allowing children to be children and parents to be parents.

We also do a very special service, known as the “Angel Trip”, a child’s final journey on earth. When you are dealing with people in these difficult situations you soon realise how limited “time” is.

When you have been on an Angel trip, as I have done twice, you soon realise the important things in life. The majority of life’s worries evaporate into insignificance and you find a new level of respect for the those who took the time during your journey through life to spend that extra bit of time, listening, caring and supporting you.

When I think back to all of our experiences of the healthcare system, I think of how our stresses as parents, and the stresses our children experienced, could have been dramatically reduced if people gave us a little bit more quality time.

A wise woman once told me that Time is the most valuable currency we have, you can’t buy, sell it or get it back, so spend time wisely.

This is the opportunity, waste TIME and you Waste Money.


BUMBLEance is part of the Saoirse Foundation, a not for profit children’s charity providing Free transport services for children across the island of Ireland.

To Donate a Litre of Fuel to BUMBLEance just Text FUEL to 50300
Text costs €2. BUMBLEance will receive a minimum of €1.80.
Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.

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