Significant government investment delivers Australia’s best ambulance response times

Canfan 24 July 2014

Improvements in the ACT Ambulance service have resulted in the ACT now having the best priority one response times at the 90th percentile of any Australian capital city, according to an independent review.

Minister for Police and Emergency Service, Simon Corbell, today released the report, which showed significant financial investment from the ACT Government had led to major improvements in the structure, governance and performance of the ACT Ambulance Service.

The report, which evaluates the implementation of key recommendations arising from the 2010 Lennox Review into the ACTAS, found major improvements right across the service, including:

  • The ACT now has the best priority one response times at the 90th percentile of any capital city in Australia.
  • ACTAS has reduced its ambulance attrition level from 10% per annum – the worst of all Australian ambulance services – to 2.6%, which is far below the national average rate.
  • Overall patient satisfaction has increased from 96% to 98% and paramedic attitude has increased from 97% to 99%.

“The original Lennox Review, released in May 2010, made a number of recommendations that required major reform to areas of clinical governance, front-line resourcing, service delivery models and management team capacity to better prepare ACTAS to meet growing demand and continue to provide the high quality of ambulance services that the ACT community enjoy,” Mr Corbell said.

“The government responded to these recommendations, with increased recurrent and capital funding of $35 million being provided to ACTAS in successive budgets since 2011-12, which has enabled the successful implementation of such major reforms over the past four years.”

Mr Grant Lennox, who was engaged to evaluate progress against his original recommendations, states that “my evaluation findings are overwhelmingly positive, reflecting great credit on the ACT Government for allocating significant additional resources to ACTAS to ensure provision of a first class responsive ambulance service to serve the ACT community”.

In the report Mr Lennox states: “The Government’s Funding injection to ensure the provision of a first class ambulance service to serve the ACT community has led to a revitalisation of the ACT Ambulance Service.

“The energized management team now leads a professional workforce better focused on patient safety, clinical excellence and response performance.

“All key areas of ACTAS from ambulance communications through to frontline emergency response, clinical governance, patient safety and complaints handling have all improved substantially, demonstrating a commitment to provision of a first class service.”

Mr Corbell said it was pleasing news in light of the increasing demand for ambulance services in the territory, which have increased from 34,000 responses in 2007-08 to 43,000 in 2012-13.

“I join Mr Lennox in commending ACTAS staff and the Transport Workers Union for their shared contribution in successfully implementing such wide ranging reforms targeted at strengthening the service to the benefit of the ACT community,” Mr Corbell said.

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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