Local politicians have shared the news that ambulance ramping hours at Peel Health Campus (PHC) have significantly reduced, marking a vast improvement from the shocking record numbers reached just months ago. Mandurah MLA David Templeman, Dawesville MLA Lisa Munday and Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke revealed that ramping hours at PHC were nearly 70% lower in March 2023 compared to the same time last year. St John WA's latest data shows ramping hours were 163 hours in March 2023, significantly down from 517 hours in March 2022, with patients now waiting just under five-and-a-half hours to get into the hospital for treatment on average.
The new data is a testament to the hard work of PHC staff, said Ms Clarke, while Ms Munday, a former paramedic, praised healthcare professionals for their "incredible reduction in ramping hours". This achievement, she said, allows paramedics to be back out in the community and ready to serve the public.
The figures for December 2022 revealed that PHC's ramping hours reached a peak of 643.9 hours, equating to approximately 21 hours per day that patients spent waiting to be transferred from paramedic care to the emergency department. This led to criticism of Premier Mark McGowan from Canning MHR Andrew Hastie, who blamed the Premier for putting the lives of people in the Peel region at risk. The McGowan Government has spent more than $380m on projects to improve accessibility to emergency services in WA, including the Ministerial Taskforce into ambulance ramping, the WA Virtual Emergency Department, and transitioning long-stay disability and aged care patients to more suitable accommodation.
St John WA reports that PHC recorded its lowest ramping numbers since June 2020, with 83 hours of ambulance ramping in April 2023. The latest data shows that the recent investments in PHC are making a difference to "ensuring our community has access to timely, world-class hospital care," said Mr Templeman. The investments are part of an effort to improve emergency care at PHC.
However, progress may be hindered by delays to the Peel Health Campus transformation project, with the timeline pushed back by a year until August 2024 due to issues with ICT compatibility between Ramsay Health and the South Metropolitan Health Service. Since announcing the delay in November, the government has awarded the $2.5m project management contract for the transformation to Deloitte. Deloitte will be responsible for delivering the ICT and digital infrastructure integrations and transferring around 900 Ramsay Health staff to the South Metropolitan Health Service. The contract for the associated co-located private hospital has yet to be awarded.