Review of Ambulance Tasmania Clinical and Operational Services

The State Government has released the findings of the Government’s Review of Ambulance Tasmania Clinical and Operational Services.

The review commenced as part of Patients First, and identifies reforms to increase the efficiency on Ambulance Tasmania resources and to reduce demand on emergency services.

As part of the review, a range of data including 210,000 ambulance responses were analysed, with the review finding that:

  • Over the past seven years, the utilisation of ambulance services has grown 14 times faster than Tasmania’s population
  • Increasingly, the caseload for Ambulance Tasmania involves responding to unexpected primary health care needs of patients.
  • These patients may need urgent care, but unless their condition is life-threatening, they do not require the acute capabilities of an emergency department.
  • In some areas of Tasmania, over 40 per cent of all transported patients are categorised as non-acute.
  • Statewide, only two per cent of patients are categorised as acute and time-critical once assessed by a paramedic.

The report recommends a range of initiatives, including moving to secondary triage – where the 000 call centre can direct non-acute patients to other providers, such as those offering primary care. The report also recommends better use of Extended Care Paramedics and Intensive Care Paramedics, patient management plans for frequent users of ambulance services and further collaboration between Ambulance Tasmania, the Tasmanian Health Service and private emergency departments.

The review also recommends a range of initiatives that should be explored further, including management of non-emergency patient transport, the possibility of urgent care centres and the ongoing refinement of the organisational structure of Ambulance Tasmania to improve coordination, supervision and professional development for staff.

Review of Ambulance Tasmania Clinical and Operational Services - Final Report