Greater Shepparton residents can feel comforted by continued improvement in ambulance response times for the region.
State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp released its latest Victorian Health Services and Ambulance Victoria performance data, which showed a successful second quarter, despite enduring Australia’s worst flu season and increased hospital admissions across the state.
As the busiest brigade in the Hume region, Shepparton has shown significant improvements in arrival time, with the average code one emergency response time quickening from 11 minutes 52 seconds to 10min 37sec.
Ambulance Victoria acting Hume regional director Matt Chadban said the results were a testament to the hard-working staff of the area.
‘‘We’ve got a great bunch of people working for us at the front end. Shepparton particularly responded well to what we’re trying to achieve,’’ Mr Chadban said.
‘‘We’re here to help the sickest people in the community get where they need to be in a suitable time.’’
Response times have improved, with 83.5 per cent of ambulances arriving within 15 minutes for code one emergencies, up from 78.8 per cent the year prior.
‘‘In the last 12 months we’ve really focused on engaging with the hospital and emergency department,’’ Mr Chadban said.
‘‘Performances across the state for code one responses are up 5 per cent to just over 81 per cent. In Shepparton, we’re seeing a higher percentage with the same increase in hospital admissions and presentations to the emergency department,’’ Mr Gepp said.
‘‘The investments and reforms we’re making, plus the change in focus in local brigades, is having an outstanding impact on the community.’’
In May last year, the Labor Government announced a $26.5million investment to improve ambulance response times.
‘‘These strong results from our hospitals and ambulance service are more than just numbers; they represent more lives saved and people getting the care they need faster,’’ Mr Gepp said.
Covering nine to 10 per cent of Ambulance Victoria’s workload, the Hume region is one of the smaller players from a regional perspective across the state.
Ambulance Victoria Hume group manager John Morris was delighted with the improvements after working in the region for more than 30 years.
‘‘There have been significant changes from a clinical and operational perspective as far as response times go,’’ Mr Morris said.
‘‘With additional resources over recent years, that’s helped us reach a lot more smaller communities.’’
Mr Gepp said the Labor Government would continue to further support Ambulance Victoria in the area.
‘‘Ambulance Victoria is an outstanding outfit in the Hume region, plus in our hospital system,’’ Mr Gepp said.
‘‘There will be lots more investment and lots more reform. I can assure a call will go out asking how we can get better.
‘‘We will be focused on this year. Not just improving these numbers in Shepparton, but right across the board.’’