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Ambulance Victoria records best response performance in its history

July 31, 2018 | in Operations

Ambulance Victoria has recorded its best quarterly response performance since the organisation was created by the amalgamation of rural and metropolitan ambulance services.

Paramedics responded to 83.8 per cent of time-critical Code 1 patients across the state within 15 minutes in the three months ending 30 June 2018 – an improvement of 2.7 percentage points on the same period last year.

Our average response time to Code 1 cases improved to 11 minutes and 12 seconds – 38 seconds faster than the same period last year – despite treating an additional 1428 patients.

Belinda McCoy (41), from Niddrie, suffered a cardiac arrest in March and was attended to by paramedics within minutes.

She began feeling very unwell in the middle of the night and called her mother who lives in an adjoining property. Her mother, Julie, called triple zero.

Advanced Life Support and Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics attended the scene, assisted by Metropolitan Fire Brigade first responders. Ms McCoy was resuscitated at her home before being transported to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

After a week in hospital and having had a defibrillator fitted, Ms McCoy was off work from the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre for three months while she recovered.

“I was quite emotional in the early stages of my recovery as I kept visualising what it would have been like for my 12-year-old daughter to wake up in the morning to find that her Mum had died overnight,” she said.

“Had it not been for the work of paramedics, a daughter would have lost her mother and a mother would have lost her daughter that night.”

“We lost Dad not that long ago and it would have been terrible for Mum to suffer another loss in the family so soon.”

Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker said the best response performance in the organisation’s history followed significant reforms and investment, especially in recent years.

“We are encouraged that our transformational reforms are leading to improved response times and better clinical outcomes for our patients,” Associate Professor Walker said.

Associate Professor Walker said AV’s aim was to give patients the best care, every time – and improved response times lead to improved outcomes for cardiac, stroke and trauma patients.

“In recent years we have changed our Clinical Response Model to better assess the individual needs of our patients and ensure ambulances are available for emergencies.”

Associate Professor Walker also said other major initiatives included:

  • Rural Victorian paramedics now have the technology to diagnose heart attacks and provide clot-busting drugs to unblock arteries which, if given early enough, prevents long-term damage.
  • Since January, Ambulance Victoria has operated the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine service which provides neurologist support to rural hospitals with Werribee Mercy Hospital this month becoming the 17th site.
  • The southern hemisphere’s first stroke ambulance, which takes a CT scanner to the patient, and more than 97% of patients across Victoria are transported to an appropriate stroke unit within 60 minutes, providing critical life-changing interventions.

“Our organisation has transformed dramatically over the past decade. The coordinated, state-wide service we now provide, in partnership with other health and emergency services, is delivering remarkable patient outcomes each and every day,” Associate Professor Walker said.

“We are, on any clinical measure, one of the best ambulance services in the world and are committed to continued improvement.”

Read more: Ambulance Victoria Performance 2017/2018 Quarter 4