New measure to address ambulance ramping lacks foresight

June 10th, 2015 by: Kwinana Electorale Office

As reported recently, Minister Kim Hames spoke out about ambulance ramping, ordering hospitals to take responsibility for patients waiting for admission.

He said the city’s three tertiary hospitals – Fiona Stanley Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital – would be responsible for the care of patients 30 minute after they arrived at the emergency department, not ambulance drivers.

Under the new procedures, hospital staff must prepare to take over care 10 minutes after the patient arrives, and after 20 minutes, the paramedics are to start a handover.

The handover should be completed by 30 minutes, when the hospital assumes responsibility for the patients.

However, I questioned whether emergency departments would have sufficient staff to deal with the change because this new measure appears to be under-resourced or unfunded.

The Minister said he was going to employ extra staff in emergency departments, which means staff would have to be cut from other areas – or, this is a totally unfunded program.

He also said he could not predict how many staff would be required because it would depend on the number and condition of patients, and that it would be the responsibility of the hospitals to fill those roles.

The anti-ramping measures will take effect from July 1, 2015.

Ambulance ramping

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