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Wellington Free, Freedom Medical Alarms partnership reassuring

Wellington Free, Freedom Medical Alarms partnership reassuring

​Patients continue to be reassured that help and support is readily available thanks to the partnership between Wellington Free and Freedom Medical Alarms.

Liam from the Wellington Free Clinical Communications Centre.

The service was established over 20 years ago and connects patients directly to highly-trained Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) at the push of a button.

Wellington Free has two dedicated Freedom Medical Alarm desks that alert our EMD when someone activates their alarm.

When an alarm is activated, the EMD opens the patient’s file which contains all the details they need to make contact.

If they are unable to make contact, an ambulance crew is dispatched to check on the patient and contact next of kin.

Liam Stroud, one of Wellington Free’s EMDs, says sometimes people can be in a different room from the alarm speaker, or maybe they aren’t able to talk or hear us.

“Regardless, we’re unable see what’s happening so by calling other contacts, sometimes they can go around to wait with the patient, or find out more details for us. All while an ambulance is on its way,” Liam says.

In instances where the EMD makes contact with the patient, they triage the patient over the phone like a regular 111 call and organise appropriate help.

It is difficult to average the amount of activations per shift as Liam says he’s had some shifts where there have been one or two over 12 hours, but other times there could be three or four every hour.

“When you open a Freedom Medical Alarm client’s file, it’s a little snapshot into their life, at least medically. On a regular 111 call, sometimes you know very little about the family related to the patient, or who you could call to let them know a loved one needs some help,” Liam says.

Liam says the information he gets makes things easier to work out they help they need.

“The ability for a patient to press a button from anywhere in their home and get help from the ambulance, even if they can’t talk to us, is invaluable in granting them freedom to feel safe at home. It also gives families the confidence that their loved one will get help if needed and that we will call them to keep them updated. As long as the patient is wearing their pendant, they can get help from Wellington Free.”

At Wellington Free, the dedicated Freedom Medical Alarm desks are staffed by EMDs who are also answering 111 calls.

​”It makes for a busy day when Freedom Medical Alarms and 111 call are going off at the same time but we all look out for each other. If you’re busy on a 111 call and someone has activated their alarm, another EMD will step in and take the job.

“This makes sure that whoever has pushed that button gets contacted and sent the help they need as quickly as possible.”

Freedom Medical Alarm is a jointly owned business between Health Care NZ and Wellington Free Ambulance.



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

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

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0800 555 050


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