Our healthy improvements

01 Aug 2018 • Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Steve Kelly

Quicker ambo response times, reduced elective surgery waiting list

AMBULANCE Code One emergency response times in the rural City of Wangaratta have improved over the last 12 months with about 78 per cent making it to their patients within the benchmark 15 minutes.

In the first quarter of 2017/18, statistics released yesterday showed an average Code One response time of 12 minutes and 38 seconds (12:38) with Ambulance Victoria attending to 387 incidents in less than 15 minutes, 78 per cent of the time.

The average time of response in the second quarter was 11:58, in the third quarter it was 12:25 and in the fourth patients who were likely to require urgent hospitalisation had to wait 12:20 on average.

This last figure compares to the fourth quarter in 2016/17 that returned a 12:41 average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of an incident in the Wangaratta Local Government Area (LGA).

Results are better when analysing the urban centre of Wangaratta response times since the 2016/17 fourth quarter, with figures ranging from 9:34 to 10:14 minutes and seconds.

With the less urgent Code Two, response times declined over the last year and a quarter, with the first of the five quarters recording an average time of 26:15, followed by 26:47, 27:15, 26:44, with the most recent figure of 28:37 from April to June 2018 the slowest.

Code Two incidents are acute, but not time critical and do not require a lights and sirens response.

Response times are measured from the receipt of the triple zero (000) call until paramedics arrive on scene.

Meanwhile, the State Government was talking up better elective surgery waiting time results as well yesterday.

For Northeast Health Wangaratta, the data shows the public hospital:

Reduced the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list – from 707 at the end of the March quarter to 605 at the end of June;

Admitted patients from the elective surgery waiting list for the June quarter – an extra 130 admissions on three months earlier;

Provided elective surgery to 100 per cent of Category 1 urgent patients within the benchmark 30 days – half within 13 days.

“Ambulances are arriving faster at emergencies and hospitals are better equipped to give patients the high-quality care that they deserve,” Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said.

“Elective surgery waiting lists broke the 50,000 barrier under the Liberals and Nationals and our ambulance system was in crisis. “Now our hospitals and our ambulance service are performing better than ever before.”