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St John to recruit 158 additional frontline ambulance staff

Media release

21 August 2014

St John to recruit 158 additional frontline ambulance staff in 35 key locations by July 2015

St John is increasing frontline staff numbers by 158 paid staff in 35 locations across New Zealand.

This patient-focused move will improve service response times, reduce single crewing levels and improve patient and staff safety.

These new operational positions will be funded by St John, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), and the Ministry of Health:

•57 will be funded by St John (as announced in February 2014) - a commitment of $4 million a year, from fundraising and commercial activities

•82 from additional ACC funding– a commitment of $5.5 million a year

•19 from additional MoH funding – a commitment of $1.3 million.

This latest staffing initiative has been made possible by the support of ACC who have agreed to move from a ‘fee-for-service’ funding model – where St John invoices ACC for each accident related injury - to paying a fixed share directly towards St John’s national emergency ambulance operation. This change better reflects the largely fixed cost nature of planning and providing a comprehensive ambulance service.

This will also see St John directly contributing to important ACC initiatives such as improved falls prevention, improving outcomes from spinal cord injuries and major trauma. ACC will also assist St John to progress initiatives aimed at improving Maori health outcomes, by funding Maori liaison roles in its Clinical team.

In addition to funding for more frontline staff, the Ministry of Health has contributed to the Auckland 111 Clinical Hub initiative (to manage non-urgent incidents through telephone advice) and has confirmed a 1.4% increase on base funding for 2014/15.

These new roles will address full crewing issues in Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga, Waimakariri and Pukekohe.

The additional frontline ambulance staff will be located in the following areas:

Alexandra2Palmerston North5
Hamilton6Te Awamutu2
Huntly2Te Kuiti1
Mount Maunganui4Waipukurau2
New Plymouth4Wanaka1
FTE total121

Along with another 37 staff to provide relief cover:

•11 across Auckland, Whangarei, Waihi, Whangamata and Whitianga

•16 in the central North Island

•10 in the South Island.

Sixteen of these roles will be new Emergency Medical Assistants (EMAs). As part of our five-year workforce plan to achieve full crewing, St John is proposing to establish this new frontline paid role to be rostered as a second crew member to work alongside Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians in specific parts of the country.

Peter Bradley, St John Chief Executive said St John has done detailed analysis to understand how current ambulance resources match actual patient demand.

“This work led directly to a commitment from St John to fund additional frontline staff and to make a number of staff roster changes.

We are now partnering with ACC and the Ministry of Health to build on this commitment - to respond to demand, to deliver a good value, sustainable service and to be able to deliver the best possible patient care.”

This new funding model also helps St John deal with current organisational priorities while at the same time more confidently prepare for the longer term.

“It’s another step to achieving our ambition of right care, right time. This is also the biggest recruitment of additional ambulance staff in our history.”


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