Belmont, Perth,

St John Ambulance embraces new care pathways

St John Ambulance WA has started using two alternative care pathways to deliver an enhanced service to Western Australians.

The ambulance service is working with the Salvation Army and Silver Chain to offer alternatives to patients requiring non urgent medical – removing the need to visit an emergency department.

Clinical Services Director Professor Ian Jacobs said ambulance crews are able to refer patients to the Silver Chain Priority Response Assessment (PRA) service.

“A Silver Chain nurse will visit patients in their own homes within four hours, thereby avoiding attendance at an Emergency Department,” Professor Jacobs said.

“The other alternative pathway we are using is to take people experiencing the effects of drugs or alcohol to the Salvation Army’s Bridge House in Highgate.”

Professor Jacobs said the new measures would result in more appropriate care for individuals and help to ease the pressure on Perth emergency departments.

”While these patients are in need of care this may be better provided either in the patient’s home or by a more appropriate alternative health service,” he said.

“We are very happy to be working in collaboration with Silver Chain and the Salvation Army who have been caring for the community for many years.”

Professor Jacobs said St John Ambulance had started the new measures on 8 April and numerous patients have already been referred to these other service providers.

He said patients are offered the choice of being referred to these alternative pathways, however if the patient really wants to go to an Emergency Department an ambulance will take them to hospital.


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