Ambo wait times in pipe­line

Herald Sun - - NEWS - ANEEKA SIMONIS

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.

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