RECORD AMBULANCE INVESTMENT TO PUT LILYDALE PATIENTS FIRST

The Andrews Labor Government will boost ambulance resources in Lilydale, giving paramedics the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies.

Lilydale will receive a new 24-hour team with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle.

The announcement is part of a record $500 million investment over five years to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state.

This is the largest ever funding boost for Victoria’s ambulance services in a bold new plan to improve ambulance response times.

Earlier this year, we announced $3.5 million to build a new ambulance station in Lilydale, giving paramedics modern and safer facilities they deserve and room to grow.

A purpose-built ambulance station will be constructed on a new, larger site still to be identified, as the current land is too small to build a facility that meets today’s standards.

The new station will feature a five-bay garage, six bedrooms, training rooms, an office area, state of the art amenities and a fully equipped kitchen.

Lilydale also benefit from the establishment of a new ‘super response centre’ to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s outer east. This centre will enable the flexible deployment of additional paramedics who can support local paramedics to respond during periods of peak demand.

In addition to our investment in ambulance services, we are investing over $1 million to increase staffing and open more beds at Box Hill Hospital to treat more emergency department patients, sooner and free up ambulances to get back on the road.

This will make a huge difference to ambulance response times in the Yarra Ranges.

Ambulance performance in Yarra Ranges continues to improve, with the average Code 1 response time of 14:30 minutes in the September quarter, an improvement on the 15:13 minute response time a year earlier. But we still need to do more.

Since coming to Government, the Labor Government has been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals.

Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years.

Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberal’s ambulance crisis.

In order to continue to improve ambulance response times, our new $500 million package includes:

• Employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years

• Establishment of six new ‘super response centres’ supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs including the west, the outer north-west, the north, the north-east, outer east and south-east

• Building new or upgrading 15 more branches across the state, on top of the 20 upgrade projects already underway

• Deploying 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand

• Purchasing new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams

• Creating 12 new resources in rural and remote towns with a local paramedic and vehicle, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal

• Treating more patients in emergency departments sooner with a $50 million boost to hire more clinicians and open more beds

This funding is in on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times.

Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino

“The new ambulance station in Lilydale will make a huge difference to this community’s hardworking and dedicated paramedics and makes room for more paramedics on the road.”

“We are putting patients in Lilydale first and giving paramedics in the Yarra Ranges the support they deserve and need to do what they do best, which is saving lives.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We’re putting people first, with the biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives.”

“Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do. Now we have the system working better, it’s time to invest in new branches and paramedics on the road.”

“In a medical emergency every second saves lives. That’s why we’re ensuring people in Lilydale get the right emergency care, quickly, when they need it.”

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