Ward trial to ease hospital pressure

St John Ambulance paramedics Paul Fettis and Kelly Jones. St John will take part in the ward trial. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d400900
St John Ambulance paramedics Paul Fettis and Kelly Jones. St John will take part in the ward trial. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d400900

The State Government will fund a trial where ambulances with non-urgent patients will go to a 15-bed ward at Hollywood Hospital to avoid ambulance queues.

Patients will be taken to the Ambulance Surge Capacity Unit (ASCU) and be cared for by a general practitioner, a registered nurse and a St John Ambulance paramedic.

The St John Ambulance-initiated trial will cost $200,000 and run for four months over winter.

Hollywood chief executive officer Peter Mott said the hospital was thrilled to be able to offer their services to patients.

‘Hollywood Private Hospital is in a position for a short period of time where we are able to assist the public sector to cope with the anticipated seasonal increase in demand for public emergency department services over the next four months,’ he said.

‘Our role is to provide the physical facility to better enable St John Ambulance staff, paramedics, doctors and nurses to care for their patients in a comfortable hospital environment rather than being kept in an ambulance while they wait to be attended to in a public hospital emergency department.’

Health Minister Kim Hames said there were many stages of the trial.

‘Some patients may in fact be assessed and discharged while others will be transferred to a public hospital, admitted to Hollywood as a private patient, or referred to a specialist,’ he said, adding that the ASCU was a temporary solution that acknowledged the high demand for ambulance services.