The Victorian Ambulance Transfer Taskforce has recently recommended that hospitals accept
immediate responsibility from ambulance paramedics for patients transferred to the emergency
department. This recommendation aims to reduce the excessive time spent by paramedics in
emergency departments before handing over care of their patient to ED clinicians and this goal is
supported by the College of Emergency Nursing, Australasia (CENA).
Paramedics play an important role in commencing emergency care and delivering patients to the
emergency department. It is vital that these clinicians do not continue to spend excessive periods of
time ramped in emergency departments if they are to provide an effective community based
emergency service. It is in the interests of patients to have them back on the road.
To make it possible for EDs to release paramedics, the ED must be in a position to assume
responsibility for these patients. College Executive Director and Victorian Branch President,Di Crellin
highlights that frequent ramping of patients in EDsis clear evidence of a system that is overstretched
and unable to provide appropriate levels of service to meet the community’s needs.
‘It is our concern that our EDs are not currently adequately resourced to apply this recommendation
regardless of its merit’ she says. ‘We often don’t have a bed or a staff member in our EDs to care for
a newly arrived patient. We rely heavily on our paramedic colleagues to ensure patient safety.’
The College of Emergency Nursing Australasia considers the provision of safe and effective care to
emergency patients to be our greatest priority and call on the Victorian government to support the
Taskforces important recommendation with provision of sufficient resources to hospitals and their
EDs to match the demand for service.
For more information contact:
CENA Executive Director and Victorian Branch President
0401 314 339
Date released: Tuesday 12 November 2013