Am­bu­lance ser­vice to pro­vide care at home

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

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