Paramedics fear new ‘unproven’ centralised model
THE Australian Paramedics Association has criticised State Government plans to create a centralised model for ambulance services in Sydney, arguing it will not produce faster response times.
Ambulance crews now operating at Tregear and Colyton – servicing the Mt Druitt and St Marys area – would be based at a new Penrith superstation, known as a “huband-spoke” model.
APA NSW president Steve Pearce said residents were being “misled” about the new system improving response times.
“What we need are hundreds more paramedics, not an unproven system of centralised ambulance hubs with few additional paramedics to work from them,” Mr Pearce said.
An Ambulance NSW spokesman told The Stan
dard last week there were no plans to close the Tregear or Colyton stations but maps show them being downgraded to paramedic response points – the “spokes” from a Penrith superstation “hub”.
Nepean and Blue Moun- tains APA liaison Liu Bianchi said the stations would effectively become waiting garages. There are currently two crews based at Tregear and one at Colyton. Ms Bianchi said those crews would start and finish shifts at Penrith as well as restock ambulances there.
“There’s a vacuum now because (the Mt Druitt crews are) always out of the area,” Ms Bianchi said. “Superstations won’t increase the ambulance numbers but just move them all into one.”
She said the downscaling of Mt Druitt Hospital meant local ambulances were used as a transfer service, taking people to Nepean or Blacktown hospitals.
“People show up at Mt Druitt and then when they can’t be helped, the ambulance crew are the ones doing the transfer,” she said.
What we need is more ambulances and more officers; that is what will reduce response times Liu Bianchi