Ambulance Service Reforms Are Saving Victorian Lives

A record number of Victorians are surviving cardiac arrest because of recent reforms that are making more ambulances available for people in life threatening emergencies.

New comprehensive analysis released today shows that almost 7,000 more Victorians are getting an emergency ambulance within 15 minutes because of Ambulance Victoria’s revised Clinical Response Model.

The review of the first three months of the revised model shows improved emergency response times across the board, with on-time call-outs increasing in all priority categories.

Other findings include:

  • survival for cardiac arrest patients in a shockable cardiac rhythm reached 37.4 per cent for the March quarter – the highest quarterly survival rate recorded in Victoria
  • the proportion of Code 1 cases attended within 15 minutes improved significantly despite an increase in the number of 000 calls by almost 10,000 (5.9 per cent) during the review period
  • key clinical outcomes for pain reduction and stroke improved

The changes mean an estimated 50,000 cases every year that would have received an emergency ambulance are now being correctly referred to an alternate health service or provided with self-care advice – freeing up ambulances to respond to Code 1 incidents at rates in line with worldwide best practice.

The new Clinical Response Model was designed by clinical experts and was a key recommendation of Victoria’s Ambulance Action Plan: Improving Services, Saving Lives released in December 2015.

The new Clinical Response Model, combined with the Andrews Labor Government’s record investment in ambulance services, has lifted Code 1 ambulance response times to 80 per cent – the best levels in seven years.

The Government’s $500 million-plus plan to improve ambulance response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – is already employing 450 more paramedics, buying new vehicles and building new ambulance stations across the state.

The Evaluation Report for the new Clinical Response Model is available at ambulance.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“These changes are saving lives – ensuring thousands more Victorians get an ambulance when they really need one.”

“We’re investing more to improve ambulance response times than any Government in Victoria’s history, to give people the right best care when they need it most.”

Quotes attributable to Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker

“We have introduced evidence-based reforms to improve a system that was being overloaded with emergency ambulance responses to non-urgent cases.”