Belmont, Perth,

CAA awards success for St John Ambulance WA

St John Ambulance Western Australia was the recipient of three awards, including the major prize, at tonight’s Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) Australasian Awards for Excellence.

The Star Award, the overall prize given to the most innovative and ground-breaking initiative, was taken home by St John Ambulance, for the Ambulance Surge Capacity Unit (ASCU).

The ASCU is a ground-breaking solution to providing care to patients with lower acuity conditions. As well as improving patient care and safety, it reduces demand on hospital Emergency Departments and the sometimes lengthy delays experienced by ambulances waiting on hospital driveways – the practice referred to as ‘ramping.’

The ASCU won a second prize in the clinical capability category and the Area Manager dashboard won the award for technical capability.

St John Ambulance WA Chief Executive Officer Tony Ahern said he was proud the innovative solutions had been acknowledged by the CAA.

"These awards confirm St John in Western Australia is providing a world class service, and that it continues the quest for improvement," Mr Ahern said.

"The ASCU proved it could be a valuable tool, with St John taking on the care of low acuity patients who may otherwise have been ramped."

"The ASCU, which ran as a four month trial, also identified a cohort of patients who were better suited to an alternative care pathway, rather than being brought to a tertiary hospital emergency department."

Mr Ahern said the electronic dashboard had also proven its worth for Area Managers.

"At any time of the day Area Managers can access critical performance indicators such as emergency department admission and crew availability via their portable electronic device," he said.

"This snapshot of operations is very powerful for our Area Managers who operate in an environment where things change very quickly."

"Able to view all this information in real time, our managers are able to make clear, timely decisions that support and assist their crews in providing the best service possible to the community."

The awards were created to acknowledge, encourage and showcase the world leading innovations and achievements from CAA member services.

Two other prizes were awarded, in the categories of management practice and educational performance.