Ambo wait times in pipeline
AMBULANCE Victoria will pilot a system under which patients are told the wait time for ambulances, following an inquest into the 2016 thunderstorm asthma event in which 10 Victorians died.
Emergency Operations executive director Mick Stephenson revealed the program would be launched in the “not too distant future”, after coronial findings into the deaths were handed down yesterday. The five-day inquest heard that, during unprecedented demand on November 21, 2016, emergency call-takers were required to tell patients an “ambulance is on its way”, even when none was available.
Coroner Paresa Spanos made no recommendations because “so many had already been made and no stone had been left unturned”.
However, she highlighted the need for estimated ambulance wait times for patients.
She also questioned the usefulness of a new script telling callers “help is being arranged”, saying while it was more accurate, it might not help patients decide whether to wait for an ambulance or make other arrangements.