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Clinical Care

Our paramedics work with people who are sick, injured and at their most vulnerable, so they have to be at the top of their game when it comes to clinical practice.

Our Quality Improvement and Innovation team takes care of policy, practice and processes for continual improvement.

Our clinical practice is overseen by Medical Director, Dr Andy Swain. The clinical team works with all parts of the business to make sure our patients receive the best possible care.  They:

  • Design and regularly review Clinical Procedures and Guidelines that all paramedics use in their day to day work
  • Constantly review paramedic national and international sector standards to keep pace with today’s best practice knowledge and changing service needs
  • Take part in sector wide clinical initiatives and new developments
  • Carry out clinical audits, and monitor our practice against international best practice Clinical Quality Indicators
  • Review and share organisational learnings from complex cases
  • Review and approve new clinical equipment.

Paramedic Registration

The matter of paramedic registration is being considered by government. It has the full support of Wellington Free Ambulance and the paramedic sector.

There is a lot of talk at present about introducing registration for paramedics.Currently paramedics operate under a set of national practice guidelines and are granted “Authority to Practice” by our medical director.  To become qualified they undertake a minimum of three years degree training and spend a further year working on the road under the guidance of a mentor.  Paramedics’ “Authority to Practice” certificates are reviewed and renewed annually.

Paramedics Australasia spokesperson, and Wellington Free paramedic Sean Thompson says that registration is important.

“Paramedicine will become a nationally regulated medical profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) along with nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and others. Regulation ensures consistent national standards of care from health professionals, so the public can be assured of receiving the highest level of care no matter where they are in New Zealand.  At the end of the day it’s about patient safety,” he says.

It also opens up career opportunities for paramedics.  “Many registered paramedics in the UK now work in emergency departments, GP practices and medical centres rather than just on ambulances,” Sean Thompson says.

The matter of paramedic registration is being considered by government.  It has the full support of Wellington Free Ambulance and the paramedic sector.

Clinical Procedures and Guidelines

This national document guides our clinical practice to ensure safe and consistent care for all of our patients.

These guidelines are presented for informative purposes only. Only those with an authority to practice issued by Wellington Free Ambulance may use these guidelines for the provision of patient care. These guidelines may change from time to time and Wellington Free Ambulance does not guarantee their accuracy once downloaded or printed.

Clinical Procedures and Guidelines

If you wish to make any formal comments or enquiries regarding these guidelines please contact: Chair of the National Ambulance Sector Clinical Working Group c/o Ambulance New Zealand, PO Box 714, Wellington.

Requesting patient information

We take great care to ensure the privacy of your health information.

We collect information about you and your health to provide appropriate care, to keep you and others safe, to carry out teaching and research, and for statistical purposes.

Be assured that your information is kept secure and only authorised people have access to it. This may include other agencies, where authorised by law.

Accessing your health information

If you have been a patient of ours, you have a right to request access to any personal health information that we hold and which is readily retrievable.

To apply for your information to be released to you, download and complete the Patient Health Information Form with appropriate documents attached as stated in the checklist.

Adverse Events

We take the provision of high quality patient care extremely seriously. We strive to do our very best for patients and their families every time we go to them.

We have a process for identifying, investigating, and learning from events where patient care has not been to the standard we would expect.  This involves a team of our clinical, operational and 111 communications centre experts coming together regularly to review information received via patient feedback, complaints, or from our own quality assurance process.

Every investigation results in a set of recommendations for improvement, and as much as possible we keep the patient and their family informed of our progress and findings.  As well as our own investigation, serious (SAC1 and SAC2) events are reported to NASO and the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

For information about how adverse events are coded, and to view previous events visit the Ministry of Health website

We use the World Health Organization event codes to classify all events. More information on these codes can be found in the National Adverse Events Reporting Policy 2017. A copy of this policy is available here.

Reportable Events October – December 2017

Reportable Events January – March 2018

Reportable Events April – June 2018

electronic Patient Report Form (ePRF)

We have now moved from paper to electronic patient records to ensure improved data quality and patient care.

In March 2018 Wellington Free Ambulance moved from paper to electronic patient records. This change brings with it improved data quality and patient care.

It is a step towards information sharing between health services which over time will mean one record, one story, and joined up care plans.

For more information, support or advice contact:

0800 WFA PRF (0800 932 773)
Email eprf@wfa.org.nz.

To access your patients Ambulance Care Summary (ACS) visit: https://acs.wfa.org.nz/

Download the “How to use ePRF ACS access” information sheet.