News

Ambos faster than most but not enough

by
November 23, 2017

ECHUCA ambulances are arriving in just under 12 minutes on average to life-threatening emergencies.

New figures show paramedics reached Echuca Code 1 calls in an average of 11 minutes and 53 seconds in the three months to September 30.

Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) quarterly performance report revealed recently that paramedics responded to 81.5 per cent of Code 1 calls in under 15 minutes, compared to 82.3 per cent in the same period last financial year.

Although it is 33 seconds faster than the state average, it does not meet the service’s target, which specifies that 90 per cent of Code 1 incidents should be responded to within 15 minutes in places with populations greater than 7500.

The figures also reveal ambulances were 13 seconds slower to arrive at life-threatening emergencies compared to the same period last financial year.

Across Campaspe, paramedics responded to 65.8 per cent of calls within 15 minutes during the period, with an average wait time of 14 minutes and 45 seconds, up from 64.9 per cent with a wait time of 14 minutes and 52 seconds the year before.

Ambulance Victoria Loddon Mallee regional director Kevin Masci said Echuca-based paramedics covered a large geographic area and could be dispatched to cases in Mathoura, Gunbower, Pine Grove and Tongala.

‘‘In Campaspe our average response time to Code 1 cases improved last quarter and was seven seconds faster than the same period last year,’’ he said.

‘‘This winter and spring we have put on extra ambulance services and added to the paramedics and nurses in our referral service to better assess the needs of triple zero callers and match them to the care most appropriate to their needs – the right care, at the right time, at the right place.

‘‘Our transformational reforms and significant investment in ambulance services have contributed to these improvements.

‘‘This includes implementing a revised Clinical Response Model focused on providing the most appropriate response to all patients to ensure ambulances are available for emergencies.’’

Mr Masci said ambulance response times had improved this winter, despite increased demand and one of the worst flu seasons on record.

‘‘Paramedics are arriving faster to life-threatening emergencies,’’ he said.

‘‘About 50,000 people a year who previously received an emergency ambulance are now being safely and appropriately referred to an alternative or non-emergency service, or provided with self-care advice.’’

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