Ambulance Service of New South Wales
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Response Times

Response Times 2015-2016

The average daily number of ambulance responses decreased by 1.3 per cent over the past year. The primary factor contributing to this decreased total activity is due to the transfer of responsibility for a major part of the Non-Emergency (P5,6,7) activity to HealthShare NSW in May 2014.

Total Activity in 2015/16, NSW Ambulance provided 1,115,635 total responses (both emergency and nonemergency) compared to 1,127,545 total responses in 2014/15. On average, there were 3,048 responses per day which is the equivalent to an average of one response every 28.34 seconds. The average daily ambulance responses by month are illustrated below.

 

Emergency Response Times 2015-2016

NSW Ambulance Emergency Response Time is the period between when a Triple Zero (000) emergency call is recorded by us and the time the first ambulance resource arrives at the scene in a life-threatening case. In Australia, the 50th percentile response time is a key measure, allowing our performance to be compared with other states.

In 2015/16 the highest priority 1A 50th percentile (median) response time for imminently threatening life cases was 7.57 minutes for the State) (Figure 1).

 

In 2015/16 the priority 1 (P1) 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 11.00 minutes for the State) (Figure 2).

 

Figure 1: The 1A 50th percentile response time

 

Figure 2: The P1 50th percentile response time

 

Control Centre call answering performance

 

The table below shows the percentage of emergency calls (from Triple Zero "000") answered by each of the NSW Ambulance four Control Centres within 10 seconds and 45 seconds.

Control Centre      

Calls Answered in 10 sec (%)

Calls Answered in 45 sec (%)

Sydney

83.3

95.2

Northern

81.9

94.7

Southern

75.1

93.5

Western

76.8

93.1

Total

81.3

94.7

 

In 2015/16, 81.3 per cent of emergency calls were answered in 10 seconds. By 45 seconds 94.7 per cent of emergency calls were answered.

 


Fixed Wing Response Times

From July 2015 to June 2016 the fixed wing fleet of aircraft transported 6,422 patients across the state, which was an increase of 3.9% on the previous year. The total number of missions completed was 3831, an increase in mission activity of 7.6% on the previous year.  The monthly fixed wing activity is illustrated below.

 

 

Helicopter Patients

From July 2015 to June 2016 the helicopter fleet transported 2940 patients across the state, which was steady on previous year. The total number of missions completed was 3881, an increase in mission activity of 3.8% on the previous year.  The monthly helicopter activity is illustrated below.


Helicopter Response Times

Helicopter emergency response time is the duration in minutes between the time the helicopter is tasked to a mission and the time the helicopter departs on the mission. In aviation operations, all missions require a degree of planning before departure.

The 50th percentile response time for emergency prehospital and interhospital mission is the key performance measure. The expected response time is 15 minutes for day operations (tasked between 0600 and 1759) and 30 minutes for night operations (tasked between 1800 and 0559).

The 50th percentile response times of each base is illustrated below.

 

DAY (0600 to 1759)           

2014/2015

2015/2016

Sydney

9

8

Wollongong

12

10

Orange

10

10

Canberra

14

12

Lismore

13

11

Newcastle

10

10

Tamworth

11

14

Helicopter Response Times in minutes (day)

 

NIGHT (1800 to 0559)      

2014/2015

2015/2016

Sydney

14

13

Wollongong

19

15

Orange

22

15

Canberra

21

20

Lismore

30

21

Newcastle

15

17

Tamworth

31

20

Helicopter Response Times in minutes (night)

 


Response Times 2014-2015

The average daily number of ambulance responses decreased by 8.7 per cent over the past year. The primary factor contributing to this decreased total activity is due to the transfer of responsibility for a major part of the Non-Emergency (P5,6,7) activity to Health Share in May 2014.

Total Activity In 2014/15, NSW Ambulance provided 1,127,545 total responses (both emergency and nonemergency) compared to 1,234,843 total responses in 2013/14. On average, there were 3,089 responses per day which is the equivalent to an average of one response every 27.97 seconds. The average daily ambulance responses by month are illustrated above.


Response Times 2013-2014

NSW Ambulance Emergency Response Time is the period between when a Triple Zero (000) emergency call is recorded by us and the time the first ambulance resource arrives at the scene in a life-threatening case. In Australia, the 50th percentile response time is a key measure, allowing our performance to be compared with other states.

In 2013/14 the highest priority 1A 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 7.65 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 7.65 minutes) (Figure 1).

In 2013/14 the priority 1 (P1) 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 10.78 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 10.78 minutes) (Figure 2).

 

Figure 1: The 1A 50th percentile response time

 


Figure 2: The P1 50th percentile response time

 

 

Control Centre call answering performance

The table below shows the percentage of emergency calls (from Triple Zero "000") answered by each of Ambulances four Control Centres within 10 seconds and 45 seconds.

Control Centre      

Calls Answered in 10 sec (%)

Calls Answered in 45 sec (%)

Sydney

85.8

96.9

Northern

86

96.5

Southern

80.7

96.5

Western

80.5

95.7

Total

84.8

96.6

 

In 2013/14, 84.8 per cent of emergency calls were answered in 10 seconds. By 45 seconds 96.6 per cent of emergency calls were answered.

 

Aeromedical Activity 

In addition to road ambulance responses   the Ambulance Service tasks 4 fixed wing aircraft and 9 helicopters.

Fixed Wing are aircraft are located in Sydney (Sydney Airport) and Dubbo.

Helicopters are located at Lismore, Newcastle, Tamworth, Sydney (3), Orange, Wollongong and Canberra

 

Fixed Wing

In 2013 - 2014 the fixed wing fleet completed 3514 missions, transporting 6205 patients; 360 less patients than the previous year. The monthly activity for the last 5 years is illustrated below.

 

 

Helicopter

 

In 2013 – 2014 the helicopter network undertook a total of 3400 missions, 137 less missions than the previous year. There were 1653 responses to accidents and rescues and 1747 interhospital transfers. In recent years, overall helicopter mission numbers have remained relatively constant. The monthly activity for the last 5 years is illustrated below.

 Helicopter Response Time

Helicopter emergency response time is the period between the helicopter being tasked and the time the helicopter takes off. Like all aircraft aviation, planning is required before a helicopter can take off.

The 50th percentile response time for emergency rescue and accident incidents is the key measure. The expected response time performance is 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night.

The day & night time performance is illustrated below.

 

Day time performance

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Sydney

9 minutes

9 minutes

6 minutes

Wollongong

9 minutes

10 minutes

9 minutes

Orange

10 minutes

9 minutes

8 minutes

Canberra*

15 minutes

13 minutes

13 minutes

Lismore

12 minutes

19 minutes

20 minutes

Newcastle

10 minutes

9 minutes

10 minutes

Tamworth

8 minutes

10 minutes

19 minutes

 

Night time performance

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Sydney

10 minutes

13 minutes

13 minutes 

Wollongong

12 minutes

15 minutes

 15 minutes

Orange**

N/A

N/A

 6 minutes

Canberra*

26 minutes

21 minutes

 21 minutes

Lismore

20 minutes

28 minutes

 38 minutes

Newcastle

14 minutes

12 minutes

 14 minutes

Tamworth**

N/A

N/A

 N/A

 

* Tamworth are daytime only services.

**Orange commenced 24 hour a day operations in March 2014

Lismore, Tamworth and Canberra do not have medical staff located at the base at all times. As such, delays are encountered awaiting the arrival of off site medical staff. Response times are expected to improve with the provision of dedicated medical staff being assigned to Lismore and Tamworth bases during 2014/15.

Helicopter Availability

Like all aircraft, helicopters require regular maintenance to ensure safety and performance. The contract arrangements between NSW Ambulance and its helicopter providers allow for helicopters to be offline for maintenance for a prescribed period each month. The allowed time varies between 20 hours per month to 144 hours per month depending on the requirements of individual contracts.

The average monthly offline time for each service is given in the following table. 

 

Average monthly offline time (hours)

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Sydney Helicopter 1

78

73.4

118.6

Sydney Helicopter 2

166

62.1

52.78

Wollongong

42.5

57.3

62

Orange

47.8

62.6

53.8

Canberra*

47.1

68.5

18.1

Lismore

26

29.6

22

Newcastle

11.4

1.1

2.2

Tamworth

10.8

4.5

7.3

 

 

Response Times 2012-2013

Ambulance Emergency Response Time is the period between when a Triple Zero (000) emergency call is recorded by us and the time the first ambulance resource arrives at the scene in a life-threatening case. In Australia, the 50th percentile response time is a key measure, allowing our performance to be compared with other states.

In 2012/13 the 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 11.13 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 11.13 minutes).

The 50th percentile response time for the highest priority cases is shown below.

Control Centre call answering performance

The table below shows the percentage of emergency calls (from Triple Zero "000") answered by each of Ambulances four Control Centres within 10 seconds and 45 seconds.

Control Centre      

Calls Answered in 10 sec (%)

Calls Answered in 45 sec (%)

Sydney

90.94

97.72

Northern

91.56

98.42

Southern

89.86

98.31

Western

90.08

98.29

Total

90.90

98.02

 

In 2012/13, 90.90 per cent of emergency calls were answered in 10 seconds. By 45 seconds 98.02 per cent of emergency calls were answered.

 

Aeromedical Activity 

In addition to road ambulance responses the Ambulance Service tasks 4 fixed wing aircraft and 9 helicopters.

Fixed Wing are aircraft are located in Sydney (Sydney Airport) and Dubbo.

Helicopters are located at Lismore, Newcastle, Tamworth, Sydney (3), Orange, Wollongong and Canberra

 

Fixed Wing

In 2012 - 2013 the fixed wing fleet transported 6565 patients; 20 more patients than the previous year. The monthly activity for the last 4 years is illustrated below.

 

 

Helicopter

 

In 2012 – 2013 the helicopter network undertook a total of 3537 missions,  46 more missions than the previous year. There were 1790 responses to accidents and rescues and 1747 interhospital transfers. Overall, helicopter mission numbers are remaining constant. This is because more patients are being taken directly to the hospital that can provide their definitive care and not require a second transfer. The activity for the last 4 years is illustrated below.

 

 

Helicopter Response Time

Helicopter emergency response time is the period between the helicopter being tasked and the time the helicopter takes off. Like all aircraft aviation, planning is required before a helicopter can take off.

The 50th percentile response time for emergency rescue and accident incidents is the key measure. The expected response time performance is 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night.

The day & night time performance is illustrated below.

 

Day time performance

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Sydney

9 minutes

9 minutes

9 minutes

Wollongong

10 minutes

9 minutes

10 minutes

Orange

8 minutes

10 minutes

9 minutes

Canberra*

14 minutes

15 minutes

13 minutes

Lismore

13 minutes

12 minutes

19 minutes

Newcastle

10 minutes

10 minutes

9 minutes

Tamworth

9 minutes

8 minutes

10 minutes

 

Night time performance

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Sydney

12 minutes

10 minutes

13 minutes 

Wollongong

12 minutes

12 minutes

 15 minutes

Orange**

N/A

N/A

 N/A minutes

Canberra*

26 minutes

26 minutes

 21 minutes

Lismore

17 minutes

20 minutes

 28 minutes

Newcastle

12 minutes

14 minutes

 12 minutes

Tamworth**

N/A

N/A

 N/A

 

** Orange and Tamworth are daytime only services.

Helicopter Availability

Like all aircraft, helicopters require regular maintenance to ensure safety and performance. The contract arrangements between NSW Ambulance and its helicopter providers allow for helicopters to be offline for maintenance for a prescribed period each month. The allowed time varies between 20 hours per month to 144 hours per month depending on the requirements of individual contracts.

The average monthly offline time for each service is given in the following table. 

 

Average monthly offline time (hours)

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Sydney Helicopter 1

45.3

78

73.4

Sydney Helicopter 2

27.3

166

62.1

Wollongong

22.3

42.5

57.3

Orange

11.0

47.8

62.6

Canberra*

18.6

47.1

68.5

Lismore

17.8

26

29.6

Newcastle

15.1

11.4

1.1

Tamworth

20.9

10.8

4.5

During 2012-2013 the Sydney and Wollongong aircraft had to undergo a routine major service which occurs once every 3 to 5 years. A major service can take up to 10 weeks to complete. The Canberra and Orange aircraft each had a prolonged unscheduled maintenance period during 2012-2013.

 


Response Times 2011-2012

 

Ambulance Emergency Response Time is the period between when a Triple Zero (000) emergency call is recorded by us and the time the first ambulance resource arrives at the scene in a life-threatening case. In Australia, the 50th percentile response time is a key measure, allowing our performance to be compared with other states.

In 2011/12 the 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 10.93 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 10.93 minutes). The deterioration in response performance is primarily due to higher demand and longer off stretcher times which limited the overall availability of ambulances to respond.

The 50th percentile response time for the highest priority cases is shown below.

 

Control Centre call answering performance

The table below shows the percentage of emergency calls (from Triple Zero "000") answered by each of Ambulances four Control Centres within 10 seconds and 45 seconds.

Control Centre

Calls Answered
 in 10 sec (%)

Calls Answered
 in 45 sec (%)

Sydney

91.70

98.83

Northern

91.54

98.79

Southern

90.73

98.71

Western

89.77

98.73

Total

91.39

98.80

 

In 2011/12, 91.4 per cent of emergency calls were answered in 10 seconds. By 45 seconds 98.8 per cent of emergency calls were answered.

 

 

100601response

Response times measure the time elapsed between a call for ambulance assistance being recorded and ambulance resources arriving at the scene of an incident.

> Response Times 2010/11
> Response Times 2009/10
> Response Times 2008/09