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Response times continue to improve

February 1, 2019 | in News, Operations

Ambulance Victoria has again recorded its best ever response time performance, reaching critical patients faster and delivering better health outcomes for those most in need.

From October to December 2018, paramedics reached 83.9 per cent of emergency patients within the critical target of 15 minutes – 2.5 percentage points more than for the same quarter last year.

The average Code 1 response time also improved by half a minute on the same quarter last year – from 11 minutes and 43 seconds to 11 minutes and 12 seconds.

The continued improvement in response times is a result of ongoing transformational reforms at Ambulance Victoria and significant investment in ambulance services over recent years.

Since 2016, a comprehensive range of initiatives has been developed to target better Code 1 response times, including:

  • Employment of 450 new paramedics over three years
  • Establishment of six new super response centres supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs
  • Deployment of 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand
  • Purchase of new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams.

This month, the final 41 of the 450 new paramedics employed under the State Government’s reform package commenced their induction.

Ambulance Victoria CEO, Associate Professor Tony Walker said the influx of more paramedics had made a solid contribution to the improved performance.

“Clearly there are a number of factors contributing to our improved results but the simple fact that we have more paramedics on the ground is a significant contributor,” he said.

“Our new recruits are registered paramedics who have completed their university degree, are now undergoing induction and, from mid-February, will begin operational shifts.”

“For the next twelve months they will work under supervision of clinical instructors to assist them in their transition from the classroom to the ‘real world’ as they integrate into day-to-day team responsibilities,” he said

“But as health professionals they will never stop learning. We place a huge emphasis on life-long learning and each of our paramedics participates in an ongoing professional development program to ensure they remain current.”

In quarter 2 2018/19, Ambulance Victoria achieved improved performance in Code 1 response times in 58 of 79 local government areas across the state.

Read more: Ambulance Victoria Performance 2018/19 Quarter 2