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Home Features How the right consultant fixed ACT’s ambulance service
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PEOPLEGrant Lennox, Simon Corbell
DEPARTMENTSACT Ambulance Service
TAGS State, emergency services, ACT, ambulance, paramedics
When the ACT Ambulance Service needed a plan for serious reform, its Tasmanian counterpart’s highly respected former CEO was just the man for the job.
The ACT government had a good news story last week: Australia’s best ambulance response times. How it achieved it is a story that started in 2009 and owes much to a Tasmanian.
A new consultant’s report confirmed “major improvements in the structure, governance and performance of the ACT Ambulance Service” had flowed from a funding boost of $35 million since the 2011 budget, Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell announced. Among the achievements, according to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services in January:
Back in 2009, the territory’s auditor-general found “significant scope” for improvement, particularly in response times, clinical governance and non-emergency transport. In addition, “ambulance data was not appropriately collected and analysed”, making it difficult for ACTAS to know how to improve or explain its needs to government.
Grant Lennox retired after 15 years as CEO of the Tasmanian Ambulance Service two months before the frank ACT audit. The government brought him on as a consultant, he began a thorough review and delivered sweeping recommendations by April. His report assured the service was “a long way” from crisis, but identified a number of challenges.
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Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
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