New pa­tient ve­hi­cle

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Pa­tients will soon be able to be trans­ported from Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal to Dunedin Hos­pi­tal in a new Mercedes Sprinter thanks to a grant of $64,864 from Cen­tral Lakes Trust.

Clin­i­cal direc­tor of Cen­tral Otago Health Ser­vices Limited Rob Visser said that if the hos­pi­tal did no op­er­ate the ser­vice it would have to rely on St John for stan­dard trans­fers, ‘‘thereby re­duc­ing avail­abil­ity of emer­gency am­bu­lances in the re­gion for 111 re­sponses at a time when emer­gency call-outs are in­creas­ing’’.

A re­turn trip took an am­bu­lance, crew and a nurse away from the hos­pi­tal for up to 10 hours.

The cur­rent ve­hi­cle was ini­tially in­tro­duced as a trial in May 2012 and has trans­ported pa­tients mainly to Dunedin, but also to In­ver­cargill, Christchurch and Ti­maru. The ser­vice has re­duced wait­ing times, trans­fer costs and in­creased pa­tient op­tions. It also serves as an emer­gency back-up for Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal in Frank­ton if it is un­able to ar­range an ur­gent trans­fer.

It is es­ti­mated 120 – 150 pa­tient trans­fers per year will be trans­ported by the new ve­hi­cle.

This grant was one of 12 grants ap­proved by the Trust to­talling $371,334 at its lat­est fund­ing round.

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