Belmont, Perth,
07
May
2013
|
03:05
Australia/Perth

New strategy will address ambulance service growing demand

A new initiative will see St John Ambulance WA caring for patients in a special ward in Hollywood Private Hospital to help alleviate pressure on hospital emergency departments.

The ambulance service has created the ambulance surge capacity unit (ASCU) at Hollywood Private for up to 15 low acuity patients, who will be assessed and potentially triaged through an alternate care pathway.

St John Ambulance CEO Tony Ahern said the ASCU would care for patients in a safe environment while they were assessed and considered for an alternate pathway or transported to a tertiary hospital ED when appropriate.

“These patients often need to wait for extended periods of time until a bed becomes available in a tertiary hospital ED. ASCU creates the right environment for them to be cared for until such time they are able to be received by an appropriate facility,” he said.

“This SJA initiative is about ensuring patients are appropriately cared for during periods of high demand for emergency services while maximising the availability of ambulances to respond to the community.”

Mr Ahern said patients considered appropriate for the ASCU will be handed over to a Registered Nurse, a St John Ambulance paramedic and General Practitioner who will provide ongoing clinical care.

“Once beds are available in an ED, patients will be able to be transferred to the ED.  There is a possibility that some patients may be able to be admitted to Hollywood Private or even discharged once medically reviewed.”

St John Ambulance has worked closely with Hollywood Private and the Department of Health to develop the ASCU, which will operate from 10am-10pm seven days a week.

Monitoring the outcomes and experiences of the ASCU will be ongoing for St John Ambulance.

Newsfacts:
  • Ambulance surge capacity unit (ASCU) to care for up to 15 low acuity patients.
  • ASCU to be activated in periods of high demand.
  • Operating from 10am to 10pm seven days a week.
“This SJA initiative is about ensuring patients are appropriately cared for during periods of high demand for emergency services while maximising the availability of ambulances to respond to the community.”
Tony Ahern, CEO
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