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Emergency calls are getting faster attention according to new report

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February 05, 2018

Police, ambulance and other emergency services closed a section of Sutton St on Monday after a car accident. TH

AMBULANCES across Echuca and Campaspe are arriving quicker to life-threatening emergencies.

New figures show paramedics reached Echuca Code 1 calls in an average of 11 minutes and 13 seconds in the three months to December 31, 2017.

Almost a minute quicker than the same period the year before, which recorded an average wait time of 12 minutes and one second.

Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) quarterly performance report revealed recently that paramedics responded to 88.6 per cent of Code 1 calls in under 15 minutes, compared to 81.1 per cent the same time the previous year.

Almost meeting 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.

Across Campaspe, paramedics responded to 67 per cent of calls within 15 minutes during the period, with an average wait time of 14 minutes and 14 seconds.

That is almost two minutes quicker than the same time the year before where paramedics responded to 58.9 per cent with a wait time of 16 minutes and nine seconds.

Ambulance Victoria Loddon-Mallee regional director Kevin Masci said it was a pleasing result.

‘‘Transformational reforms, significant investment in ambulance services and the Save 000 for Emergencies campaign have contributed to the continued improvement in response times,’’ he said.

‘‘Our ambulances are more available to respond more quickly to people who need our help, especially those who are seriously ill, following the full implementation of our revised Clinical Response Model 12 months ago.

‘‘Each week, we receive hundreds of 000 calls from people with less-urgent health needs. By better assessing the individual needs of our patients through our referral service we are able to provide those patients the most appropriate response and ensure ambulances are available for emergencies.’’

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp attributed the results to the government’s record funding boosts and major health reforms, which were delivering more ambulances more quickly and helping save lives.

Mr Gepp said in the last three months of 2017, Echuca hospital admitted 3113 patients — up from 2735 admissions the same time a year earlier.

The hospital also admitted 996 emergency patients – up from 677 emergency admissions and saw 5297 patients who presented to the emergency department – an increase from 5116 presentations in the previous quarter.

Seventy-eight per cent of all emergency patients were treated within the benchmark time – up from 75 per cent in the previous three months, while half of the hospital’s emergency department patients were treated within 21 minutes – better than the 24-minute median in the previous three months.

It also transferred 97.4 per cent of patients who arrived at the hospital in an ambulance in the December quarter within the target of 40 minutes, up on its 96.9 per cent transfer rate in the same period in 2016, and beating the statewide target of 80 per cent.

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