The VVED service is available across Victoria 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for healthcare professionals from Ambulance Victoria (AV), hospital urgent care centres, residential aged care facilities and general practitioners (GPs) to refer patients. Patients can also self-register to use the service.
VVED is not for emergencies. In an emergency you should always call Triple Zero (000).
What the VVED is
The VVED is a video telehealth medical consultation service that connects patients with emergency clinicians, all from the comfort of their own home, residential aged care facility or GP clinic. It is an alternative care pathway that triages and treats patients with non-life-threatening conditions in a virtual environment, using a smart device.
The VVED is staffed by emergency doctors and specialist nurse practitioners who conduct clinical assessments and provide medical advice virtually. Where required, they will provide early treatment and referral to specialist services, GPs and other services for ongoing management.
If the VVED determines that a person’s care needs are best managed face-to-face in hospital, then ambulance transport will be organised if the patient is too unwell to travel in a private car.
The service is not intended to replace any existing healthcare service pathways. Instead, the VVED provides additional pathways for the community to access.
Northern Health established the VVED as a pilot project at Northern Hospital Epping in October 2020 to help patients in the north with COVID-19 symptoms, relieve pressure on emergency waiting rooms, and treat more people from the comfort of their home. The program is now open to all patients across Victoria.
How the VVED works
The VVED service is available state-wide.
Patients using VVED don’t require a referral to access the service and can connect directly from any personal device with a camera (mobile phone, PC, laptop or tablet). Patients can also be referred to VVED by their GP or other health professionals.
How the VVED is accessed
The VVED is available to everyone in the community aged over three months. There are a number of ways VVED is accessed:
Your GP, nurse or health service provider might refer you to VVED instead of calling an ambulance or asking you to attend an emergency department in person.
Through Triple Zero (000)
When you call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance, you may be directed to VVED by the triage practitioner on the phone, this includes residents in aged care facilities (Residential Aged Care Response (RACER) Pathway).
Through ambulance paramedics
If an ambulance is called and reaches you, paramedics may refer you to VVED instead of transporting you to an emergency department. It is expected that the attending crew will remain on scene until the VVED clinician has advised they are no longer required.
It’s important to know:
You will always be asked to provide consent to use VVED before being referred to the service
AV staff have defined inclusion and exclusion criteria for VVED referral and a thorough assessment is always completed with the patient before suggesting VVED. If at any time a patient’s needs change then an ambulance and transport to the nearest emergency department will be arranged.
If the VVED clinician advises that ambulance transport is required following their assessment, they will contact AV directly to request dispatch.
Interpreters are available. The patient’s preferred language can be nominated in the registration form and an interpreter requested at the start of the consultation process.