A timely response

When people ring for an ambulance they have a right to expect a timely response.
In Victoria however things can go astray with monotonous regularity.
Whether it is a lack of resources, or the inability of the call centre to tell the difference between a major life theatening injury or not as happened recently, when an ambulance was despatched under lights and sirens to a burns/explosion where the only treatment required was to use nail polish remover to remove nail polish from the leg of a 5 year old.

Funny you think, on its own yes. But last Thursday night the results of the current resourcing and despatch resulted in delays of an hour and a half to one of almost 5 hours when an ambulance wa despatched to the victim of an assault at 0316, the original call came in at 2228 the night before.

And the Government and AV deny there is a problem!

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2 Responses to A timely response

  1. James Hall says:

    We know that the system is not functioning as it could and should. And we are painfully aware that the call centre merely follows the prompts often without any real understanding.

  2. Martin says:

    I think our expectations over response times needs a little refinement. Of course, those with the greatest need should expect a response as quickly and as safely as possible. But the argument over blanket response times fails to acknowledge those cases that are low acuity, can afford to wait, or simply are not ambulance cases from the outset. A person with a badly behaving teenage daughter calling for an ambulance because she’d locked herself in her bedroom and couldn’t be heard (true story) surely shouldn’t expect an ambulance (but did) when there were life threatening cases appearing around them. This is the problem we need to face: to filter out all the inappropriate cases that call for an ambulance. Once that occurs, more resources will be available and our response times will improve and be better targeted to clinical need.

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