Ambulance service to provide care at home
A new service that will enable people with minor injuries or illnesses to be treated free in their homes starts in Porirua and Kapiti on July 1.
The urgent community care service will be run by Wellington Free Ambulance.
It would be funded within existing Capital & Coast District Health Board budgets, a DHB spokesman said.
It will operate between 7.30am and 7.30pm, seven days a week, because evidence showed this was when that type of service was most needed, he said.
The service is triggered when a 111 call is assessed as non lifethreatening. A trained paramedic will then visit the caller’s home, administer medicine or other assistance, and organise a referral or follow-up visit with a GP or hospital if required.
Grey Power zone 4 director Kilian de Lacy said many members might not know about the service, but it was worth trumpeting.
‘‘What we have to realise is that you still call 111,’’ she said. ‘‘ It’s not replacing the other ambulance services, and it’s free.
‘‘Being an ex-nurse as well, I think it’s great to have a service where you can be assessed in your home. Older folk will welcome this extra option.’’
Wellington Free Ambulance director Dr Andy Swain said about 50 per cent of 111 calls were for people who needed medical care, but did not need a trip to the emergency department.
‘‘Many 111 calls are for things like falls and unexpected illnesses,’’ he said. ‘‘When people are taken ill or are seriously hurt, calling an ambulance is absolutely the right thing to do.
‘‘It’s our job to make sure the service we provide is best suited to their need.’’