Paramedics fear new ‘un­proven’ cen­tralised model

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

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

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