New Joondalup care centre to ease demand on emergency department


St John Ambulance urgent care paramedic Tania Rego, enrolled nurse Hannah Sharp and Dr Claire Hill-Smith. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d457255
St John Ambulance urgent care paramedic Tania Rego, enrolled nurse Hannah Sharp and Dr Claire Hill-Smith. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d457255

ST John Ambulance hopes the opening of the Joondalup Urgent Care Centre last month will ease demand on the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department.

The department is one of the busiest in the state, often leaving ambulances queued up while paramedics look after patients who are waiting to be admitted.

Making matters worse, health officials have reported an increase in the number of patients presenting to the emergency department with non-urgent complaints such as cold and flu.

The Urgent Care Centre, which is attached to the Apollo Health clinic on Joondalup Drive, will give patients with non life-threatening injuries, such as possible breaks or minor burns, an alternative to waiting in an emergency department queue.

St John Health Service director Phil Homan said ambulance data had revealed a significant number of patients in the Joondalup area were taken to a hospital emergency department last year when an Urgent Care Centre may have been a better option.

“Patients not requiring emergency services can be seen by a doctor and receive the most appropriate care at an Urgent Care Centre without the need to attend an emergency department,” he said.

“We can give patients a safe, timely and high-quality service that is bulk-billed.”

Initially, the service will cater for walk-in patients only, but will later extend to ambulance arrivals if the patient gives consent for treatment at the alternative location.