Jeremy Rockliff

Premier of Tasmania

8 February 2024

Guy Barnett, Minister for Health

New transfer of care procedure

The Rockliff Liberal Government is doing what matters for Tasmanians by implementing a new protocol which will reduce transfer of care delays and get paramedics back on the road faster.

A new protocol will be implemented across the health system next month mandating a maximum 60-minute window for all patients arriving by ambulance to be transferred to the care of Emergency Department (ED) staff.

Minister for Health, Guy Barnett, said the new procedure comes amidst record investment into Ambulance Tasmania.

“In the last ten years the budget for Ambulance Tasmanian has almost tripled with the number of employees on the Ambulance Award increasing by 220,” said the Minister.

“I am pleased to confirm that next week 13 new paramedics will commence with AT after relocating from interstate, and 15 paramedics who were on fixed term contracts have taken up permanent employment with Ambulance Tasmania.”

Under the new protocol, paramedics will work with their ED colleagues to commence safe handover of patients approaching the 60-minute deadline, including completion of relevant patient documentation.

“While 74% of patients are already being transferred from paramedics to hospital staff within 60 minutes, the new Transfer of Care Procedure will release paramedics to attend more cases in the community and reduce response times for life-threatening cases,” Minister Barnett said.

“This is one component of the Rockliff Liberal Government’s transformational plan to reduce Transfer of Care delays and improve patient access and flow across the health system.

“This protocol builds on initiatives already in place, including the urgent patient offload protocol implemented in early 2023 and the ‘Safe for Emergency Department waiting room pathway’ announced last week.”

As part of the Ambulance Tasmania Award and Agreement registered in April 2023, the Tasmanian Government committed to working HACSU to achieve a mandated transfer of care for all ambulance patients within 60 minutes, within 12 months of the agreement.

Today’s announcement honours this commitment to paramedics, but more than that, will provide greater assurance to Tasmanians.

“I’m grateful for the input of our dedicated working group, including representatives from HACSU, ANMF and the AMA, Ambulance Tasmania and the Tasmanian Health Service,” said Minister Barnett.

Minister Barnett said the Tasmanian Liberal Government was investing record levels in ambulance services.

The protocol will roll out across the State on 11 March in the North West, 18 March in the North and 25 March in the South.

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