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Caring for our patients with Fit to Sit

Caring for our patients with Fit to Sit

A successful Fit to Sit pilot between Wellington Free Ambulance and Hutt Hospital has reduced the amount of clinical handover time required between paramedics and ED staff for those presenting with a low acuity injury or illness. The pilot has resulted in a more efficient process and improved outcomes for patients and staff.

Fit to Sit

Fit to Sit is loosely based on a similar United Kingdom model. Patients transported to hospital by ambulance are advised to present to reception with an Ambulance Care Summary (ACS) document, given to them by paramedic with a unique code on.

Using the unique code, Emergency Department staff can access the patient’s Electronic Patient Report Form (ePRF) paramedics have filled in about why they attended, the assessment they gave, what they found, any treatment they gave and their plan for the patient.

Healthcare Services Development Manager and Extended Care Paramedic Jimmy says typically most low acuity patients do not require a handover as all the information the hospital needs about the patient is on the ePRF. With less time spent handing over at hospital means more time available to meet the needs of high acuity patients, and those waiting for ambulances in the community.

He says Fit to Sit saves on average 17 minutes each time it is used. The rationale behind this initiative is that ambulance crews take on average 35 minutes to hand over at the Emergency Department.  By removing handovers for those who are able to sit and wait, paramedic crews can be quicker to the next job, a well-deserved break or coverage for an area.  “It’s all about efficiency.”

“Often we need to take people to hospital because they need support or treatment but don’t have the means or transport to get to hospital on their own. We can still meet our patient’s social needs in this way but reduce the time taken for handovers”

“Fit to Sit benefits busy triage nurses too – often there’s only one or two on each shift, and this way we can ensure they are available to patients who are more unwell.  The busier the hospital is, the more efficient we can be with Fit to Sit,” says Jimmy.

Fit to Sit is now business as usual at Hutt Hospital Emergency Department and both Wairarapa and Wellington Regional Public Hospital are now using the system.

“We will review how it is going in Wellington after winter, but we hope it continues to help patients, the Emergency Department staff and our paramedics out on the road, says Jimmy.”



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As our patient, and under the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Rights, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect
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  • Freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment and exploitation
  • dignity and independence
  • Services of an appropriate standard
  • Effective communication
  • Be fully informed
  • Make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • Support
  • Respect of teaching or research
  • Complain

If we don’t respect these, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to put it right.

Support in the process

If you need support or help with making a complaint, you can contact the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and ask for an advocate.

0800 555 050


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