Territory Labor Government Provides Certainty for St John’s Ambulance

The Territory Labor Government today released the response to the review of Road Ambulance Services in the Northern Territory.

The review was commissioned last year to ensure Territorians have the best possible service into the future.

The review made 44 recommendations to address issues relating to:

o Contemporary best practice in the delivery of road ambulance services

o Future workforce requirements for a contemporary road ambulance service including the training, development and retention of the ambulance service workforce

o The interface between road ambulance services and other health related emergency service

o Future regulation of road ambulance services in the Northern Territory.

The Territory Labor Government has accepted the recommendations, supporting 27 of the recommendations and supporting the remaining 17 in principle.

Significant progress has already been made by the creation of a Duty Manager position within the Emergency Communications Centre (recommendation 3) and the establishment of the Critical Response Unit Intensive Care Paramedic capability (recommendation 8) from the trial model.

The independent reviewer found that bringing the road ambulance service under the Department of Health is not the right solution to address all the concerns and issues raised by the review.

Independent consultant, Professor Neale Fong, was engaged to undertake the review.

Comments attributable to Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:

The team at St Johns Ambulance provide a vital service to Territorians and have done so for more than 20 years.

The Territory Labor Government recognises that St Johns often work in challenging and stressful situations.

This report was commissioned to make sure both service providers and the delivery of that service continue to excel into the future.

While the review did find that the NT Road Ambulance Services is functioning satisfactorily, it noted that improvements are needed to move to a new stage of performance excellence.

The Territory Labor Government has accepted all the recommendations, either in full support or in principle.

I have tasked the Department of Health to begin work with all stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the review.

Work has already progressed on a number of the recommendations and all 44 will be implemented over the next two to three years to ensure a sustainable future for St Johns Ambulance.

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