Jon Noble – 9334 1234
Peta Davies – 9334 1234
Jon Noble – 9334 1234
Peta Davies – 9334 1234
13:00-15:30 on August 9th, 2022
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Jon Nobel
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins, and Conrad Fairhead.
Tony Fitzgerald, Natalie Braxton, Alan Clyne, Simon Hughes, Serena, Ken Tan.
Returning to Pre COVID-Staffing and Call Levels
SJA informed us that the workload and staffing levels are returning to pre COVID levels, however there is still a need to increase these levels. No information on how many or recruitment plans, and timings were provided.
New Transport Vehicles
There are four new vehicles for officers to work in across the fleet which will reduce the need for Transport crews using Ambulances. However, members have stated that these are currently being used by the Medic crews. These vehicles have also been fitted out with the new Stryker Stretchers and Transport Officers are not given the opportunity to work in them. SJA will review this.
There has been a recognised need to replace some of the older Transport vehicles and currently Fleet are reviewing this too.
Department of Health Transport Contract
There are five listed organisations contained within the contract, those being Medic One, Medical Edge, National Patient Transport, Wilson and SJA. Senior Management have been in contact with these organisations on a regular basis. Their appears to be plenty of movement for contracts.
Recruiting More Staff
There have been some issues with application numbers to increase the Transport ranks. SJA have identified the difficulty in attracting new people to the organisation with other agencies recruiting to fill their contracts. Much interest for hiring Transport Officers is contained on seek.com.
RASOs Working With Transport Officers
An email from Senior Management was sent to all Transport Officers advising them of RASOs joining the fleet. Many members contacted their Transport Delegates raising their concerns over this new development. The AEAWA find it hard to understand with SJAs opening statement about returning to pre COVID staffing and workloads, now all of a sudden, we are placing RASOs into Transport Vehicles.
Concerns were raised on the level of training these officers would undertake pre turning up for shifts, it was noted many of the EHS RASOs working with Paramedics were not even trained in using the stretchers properly, many of them had not even seen the back of an Ambulance which resulted in numerous lost time working injuries amongst Paramedics. SJA are to review this.
APTC Times and Availability
This has been appreciated by many of our Transport members. The decisions made regarding hospital-to-hospital transfer priorities are now more appropriate, however APTC do not currently work 24/7, and crews have found hospitals are returning to normal practices when APTC staff are not working. SJA have stated there is a strong desire to have this operating 24/7.
The delay has been in recruiting two more Paramedics into APTC, there aren’t enough to take two off the road to fill the positions. When this changes there will be a push to constantly staff this around the clock.
There was some initial confusion regarding this point as SJA came back with what needed to be checked before you commence your shift. The AEAWA reiterated that this was about crews not being given adequate time to check their vehicles. In the past it was 20 minutes, but now the workload has increased, they often find themselves being contacted 2 minutes into their shift to get rolling.
The AEAWA suggest (as we did in the Paramedic pre-shift checks) to advise what the organisation wants us to check, then allot a time to those checks, and crews will move once the checks have been completed.
This was raised as members particularly in the country regions were given jobs (in some cases 7-hour turn arounds) two hours before their shift finished. When officers said no to the unreasonable request, they often felt pushed into doing the call. They advice was to contact PTS communications and advise them that you cannot do these shift extensions, if you have no luck then contact the a Transport Manager.
Members are advised to contact the AEAWA on [email protected] if your request to finish on time is denied. The AEAWA stated that their needs to be a focus to get crews home on time, and low staffing levels is not the fault of the officer. We realise some officers welcome the overtime; however, the organisation needs to understand the work life/family life balance and assist.
Reporting Vehicle Faults and Damage
SJA would like to see more officers filling out crash packs and notifying of any vehicle faults so that these issues can be rectified quickly. SJA stated that this is a NO FAULT process, and that they realise many of the officers completing the forms may not have even been involved in the incident (they may have just found a problem).
Handle of Wheelchair Vehicle Issues
A fault with the grab handle on the wheelchair vehicles have been identified and raised at the previous Transport JCC. SJA noted a supply issue in fixing this problem and when this is sorted the vehicles may be off the road for some time whilst these are being installed. Further updates to come.
Completing an ePCR
Members have noted some frustration over completing a full ePCR with two full sets of vitals when a patient is simply going home, some patients have gotten a Taxi to hospital and are suddenly required to have a range of vitals completed. SJA believe that a Working Group with Clinical Governance should be established to see if this can be changed. The AEAWA are supportive of making these changes and will advise the membership of what the next steps are.
Transport Vehicle Mobile Phones
Many vehicles do not have two mobile phones in use. This is a safety and contactability issue. SJA are in the process of placing more phones into vehicles with only one phone; except for one operator vehicles.
There appears to be some back and forth on this issue, on one hand Clinical Governance say that this piece of equipment is safe and approved for use for all Transport Officers, and on the other the company who makes them state it should ONLY BE USED IN EMERGENCIES!
The AEAWA has advised members not to use this piece of equipment in the non-emergency setting until the onus falls on the organisation and not the officer if something goes wrong. Your committee believes that if a vehicle collision occurs and a newborn is placed on a piece of equipment not authorised by the manufacturer for non-emergency use then questions will be asked on why this accident occurred. Our concern is that the officer may be placed in fault.
10:00-14:00 on May 3rd, 2022
Natalie Braxton, Alan Cline, Tony Fitzgerald and John Backo
A request for input across the agenda items was requested, to gauge the on-road feeling of staff. SJA stated some things have been lost during communication. Further JCC’s it’s been requested that each group place on 6-8 agenda items each so that we can move through the items more quickly. Some items have not been resolved and other items have been on hold for a long time. A commitment to establish a priority agenda list was agreed to. However, all items should be reviewed at some stage to allay any concerns across the fleet.
SJA have been successful in all areas of the contracts, however for some they are not the exclusive tenders, as many other parties have been included. Online bookings will predominantly stay. Calls in may be changed if we cannot attend these calls, there may be an opportunity to change the pickup times or decline the call if resources are limited. SDS, Wilsons and NPT are also involved, and they will most likely attend if we don’t.
Competition is now in the marketplace more than ever before. SJA have lost some work in the past 18-months as ambulance are not doing that work due to emergency workload. RFDS work is also being discussed regarding the contract, between SJA, Health and RFDS. No wheelchair transport in the new contract under the Department of Health will occur (approx. 80% of the wheelchair vehicle workload), these patients will be placed in PTV’s. If it’s a hospital pick up or the patient is being transported from hospital to a facility, the new contract will not allow these patients to be transported in the usual SJA wheelchair vehicle.
SJA want to scale up their Transport numbers to fulfil these contracts. A review of casuals (required hours) is being reviewed along with the cycle times, to see how they can improve. Questions such as are we driving too long to scenes, are we being overly ramped, or are there other hospital delays occurring effecting our times will be reviewed. Basically, are these issues related to the hospitals, our dispatching or a mixture of both.
Four new vehicles are close to being made available over the next few weeks. They are an addition to the fleet, not replacements. The current BCP level is being reviewed for Ambulance Transport Officers, SJA have stated that the absentee rate for PTS is a lot lower than expected, hence why the review is to occur.
The Community Transport Officer role has been impacted; a greatly reduced scope of transport is being discussed. Further information will be made available at a later date. However, much of the calls they were doing have been altered.
Country Transport Officers can request roster changes. In the past this been excluded for our country members. SJA have stated they will review these requests when they are made aware. For future JCCs there may be an opportunity for PTS comms to be involved in the meetings. This way a dispatch perspective can paly a part in the discussions.
New Baby Blankets
These will be placed into the new vehicles; they are DHS blankets. When the older ones come in, when the vehicles are being serviced, they will also be replaced. If crews need to request the baby capsule so the patient can be transported safely, rather than using the blanket they should do so.
The AEAWA would like to remind the members that only approved (by the manufacturer) options should be used. The current Baby Blanket can only be used in ‘emergency situations. Crews should arrange a capsule and not feel pressured to transport the patient.
RASOs coming in to work at SJA after they have completed their full-time work. Some officers have worked 17 days straight. SJA have stated they should have a 9-hour break before they commence their SJA shift. This is for employee safety.
If any member believes they may be at risk should contact the Transport Team Leader ASAP to discuss, if they are not happy with the answer, they should contact an AEAWA Delegate immediately.
SJA Contacting Casual Officers
SJA have been contacting casuals that have not worked for extensive periods of time to ascertain if they are still happy to work for the organisation. Some officers have left, and others are only working four shifts a year. These officers have been encouraged to work more hours, to stay current in-patient contact. There are too many casuals on the books that have not completed shifts in a significantly long time.
If you are a casual Ambulance Transport Officer and have been contacted regarding your reduced work capacity, please contact the AEAWA ([email protected]) for any required support.
Shift Start Times
Employees are not given appropriate times to check their vehicles. SJA have stated that if you commence your shift at 07:00, that is when you start. A time-in-motion check will be investigated by SJA to see how long a vehicle check should occur (obviously vehicles will be in different states but at least a time frame for specific checks should occur). This is similar to a claim within the Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA negotiations.
During a recent discussion with the AEAWA and the Fair Wok Commissioner SJA DO NOT want to pay overtime for crews to attend work early to check their vehicle. This creates issues when you start your shift on time and are requested to roll out at your start time. A study will occur soon to see exactly how long it should take to check your vehicle. This time will be allotted at the commencement of your shift. Further information will be provided.
Section 4 – Not for Resus
St John of God Hospitals will no longer be filling out these forms. So crews will no longer have the form issue within this health setting. This item has now been resolved due to this and has been removed from the list of items. If any further instances arise, the AEAWA will return this topic to the agenda.
Team Leaders at on-road Stations
Management have had a lot more contact with staff on road. The recent Culture Survey (last years) said that management were not on-road, they were not contactable. Team Leaders now have laptops and are working in multiple areas so they can be seen by more employees. Some steps to address the survey responses have occurred and others are under development. These will be communicated at a later date.
Community Transport and Inappropriate Jobs
Grayland’s jobs with escorts and interhospital transfers have occurred and some terminally ill patients have been transported. Formed patients (over the last 3 months) have been tasked with an escort. This is not appropriate, and a review should occur regarding these types of calls.
As the scope has been greatly reduced, this should no longer occur. This item has been removed, again if it arises, please contact the AEAWA for it to be re-added.
PTS Dispatch During Jobs (raised in the previous JCC)
Dispatch often calling whilst they are dealing with patients, some crews cannot answer the call, and officers are being called repeatedly. One case a crew were wearing gowns and could not answer the call and received numerous calls. AEAWA – Crews are not happy as nearly every 20 minutes they are getting a call. There was an acknowledgment that ‘welfare checks’ are required in the community, but many of these calls are occurring whilst crews are in hospitals. It appears there has been a directive to call crews every 20-minutes to see what the holdup is. SJA were going to review.
The AEAWA raised that this is still occurring and provided numerous examples. SJA stated that if crews can not physically answer the phone – don’t answer it. As soon as the crew is able, call comms and let them know and just advise you couldn’t answer at that time.
Ready Now Calls (raised in the previous JCC)
Calls are getting brought forward to ‘ready now’ and the patient is never ready. Sometimes crews are driving 30 minutes to a ready now call only to be told the paperwork isn’t ready. The question was raised who changes the call to ready now? SJA – stated this will be reviewed, specifically how the ready now gets activated and assigned. There was no clear answer on how this occurs, and feedback will be presented around this.
The AEAWA stated this is still happening, many crews are saying the same thing, the job is booked as ready now but when you arrive on the ward the nurse says your early, we are not ready and then the crew must help the nurse pack patients belongings and wait for paperwork. Some cases people have been picked up early but when arrived at the destination, the other end is not ready as they still have a patient waiting to go or a room to be cleaned.
SJA stated to call comms and let them know you have arrived and the patient is not ready, provide an estimated ready time and comms will make the decision if you stay or not. Instruction will be sent out to Transport employees explaining this soon.
Reporting damaged vehicles
Some look appalling, hubcaps missing, dents. Items missing. SJA want staff to report these so the insurance claims can be processed. SJA reiterated today this will not create a discussion point with any officer, this is a safety issue. Anyone can report the damage, the organisation will not assume that the reporting officer caused the damage. Crews reporting these issues early can reduce severe damage occurring to the vehicles or even injury to their colleagues. These issues when left will become worse.
The AEAWA are supportive of reporting damage to vehicles ASAP to increase member safety.
Our members in the country have stated that on occasions they are ‘coerced’ into doing long shift extensions. An example given was a crew who were knocking off in three-hours when they were given a transfer to Perth, effectively a 7-hour turnaround. Yes, the crew has three hours left to work, but a four-hour shift extension is NOT reasonable. SJA will review these occurrences.
As always if a member finds themselves in this situation, let us know immediately and we can discuss this at a senior Management level to resolve this. Of course, if you are happy to do it…. Enjoy the OT.
Wheelchair Grab Handle
A discussion took place on the grab handle being too low and too far away, if the patient has reduced capacity to hold their weight on the bar or even reach it, it can be extremely difficult for a solo officer to assist the patient in and out of the vehicle. Engineering have reviewed this and there is no other option in replacing the grab handle.
In light of this result the AEAWA would like to remind all our members as always, your safety is our concern. If you need assistance call for a backup. If this request is denied contact the AEAWA directly.
Wheelchair Head Rest
Members have asked if the head rest on the wheelchair has to be used during transport. The response was, it is in the instruction manual to do so, and it is safer for patients. Hence it should be used at all times.
Members are reminded that there is no bariatric wheelchair, crews should call Team Leaders to provide assistance.
People refusing wheelchair shifts
SJA are currently reviewing is this a skill set issue, a training issue or a confidence issue? Further feedback will be provided when available.
Heating in the Transfer Bus
Members have stated it is extremely cold and patients often complain. This was reviewed and the feedback was there is no place to house the heater due to the stretcher configuration and the general design of the vehicle.
Changing Shift Times
If staff want to change times, contact management and they will see if the changes do not impact in a negative way. If not, then the change will be considered. Flexibility in roster times should be able to occur. SJA will review all requests.
Notify comms if you cannot do OT at the end of the shift. Instances of crews calling to advise late in the shift can cause issues, If a member provides sufficient notice, the request will have a higher chance of approval.
Any issues with this directive please contact the AEAWA.
Transport Specific Rostering Capability
An employee is now working with rosters that is Transport specific. The role is assisting many of these changes. There has been a downward trend in absenteeism since this has been established. SJA will review if there is a permanent need for this role.
Some concern amongst the membership regarding advertising this role. The AEAWA will inform officers of the outcome.
Contacting Clinical Support Paramedics
Use of CSPs and inconstant information – CSP’s are a larger organisational resource and not necessarily a transport specific role. Take the clinical guidance at a time. Questions were raised that some CSPs don’t really have an understanding of Transport specific issues and their specific CPGs. SJA have stated to always follow the CSP advice. CSPs are shift colour specific and most transport employees work Monday-Friday, so continuity is always going to be difficult to maintain.
Hospitals telling crews what jobs they are doing
A crew attended a hospital for one job and the hospital staff stated no you’re doing this one. SJA have stated crews placed in this situation should call comms and feedback what is occurring on-scene.
The AEAWA agree, it should not be up to the officers to sort this. Management should be contacted, and that Manager should be calling the hospital and making a decision of who is to be transported.
Meeting for the Transport JCC
10:00 till 12:15:30 on October 4th 2021
Lee Waller, Dave Higgins, Mike Hardwick and Jon Nobel
No AEAWA apologies
JCC Protocol/Welcome and Introduction
Operations Manger, Paul has left the organisation and Team Leader John Backo has been undertaking the position until a new manager is found, interviews have already taken place. SJA would like the new Transport Operations Manager to hold current clinical qualifications.
A vehicle review has been undertaken, three new PTS vehicles have come on and another two are in the process to be placed (approx 6 weeks away) and a further two are on order (more likely after to be delivered just after Christmas). SJA state they will further increase the PTS vehicle fleet after further investigation into the fleet.
SJA stated it is critical to get the right people into the fulltime and casual transport positions. The Transport Management Team are working with rosters to ensure shifts are being covered. They have stated they have casual employees who do a lot of shifts, but also have casuals that work less frequently. These meetings are occurring every two weeks with the focus on shift coverage and calling in casuals that have not worked on the road for extensive periods.
SJA also stated that for staff who would like to discuss rostering or changes to shifts should discuss those issues with the Transport Team Leaders or with Alan himself. This is due to rosters WILL NOT facilitate the requests and are required to discuss those with the Transport Management Team. In essence you are more likely to get an answer faster by going through your managers for requests.
The same fortnightly meetings occur with clinical governance. They discuss SOPs and clinical matters that have been raised by employees.
Meetings also occur every two weeks with the college which are designed for planning and implementation processes. In other words if a Transport Officer school is required ASAP, there is an avenue to do this.
The next increase in transport establishment is February next year, after these rosters meetings it was discovered that numbers are diminishing in transport. This is to see if schools can be brought forward. Over the last three months work has taken place on establishment due to SJA struggling to cover shifts. New people are needed in the system. Casuals have been spoken to regarding support and shift availability to see if they can do extra shifts. SJA are not happy with the fulltime to casual ratio, hence why they want to employee more staff especially full timers.
Minutes will be published on connect for employees to see.
At a previous JCC meeting it was mentioned why mentoring only occurs on day shifts, they never seem to happen during afternoon or night shifts. SJA came back stating it just happened where rostering was sorted for mentors on days only. However, they do see the need for it to occur across all shifts. The D/A/N configuration for mentoring is currently being discussed with rosters. AEAWA – sometimes staff are not aware that they have a student for that shift. Some notice would be nice so that mentors can be prepared for students. SJA – they will always try to make mentors aware, but they can’t always get to each individual to provide that notice.
Communicating SOPs to Employees
Will be done each week for work related discussions; The new Operations Manager will take this over once the person has been selected.
In order to create a more ‘team’ orientated environment it was decided that managers and PTS comms staff would do observing shifts. There are some employees that have not seen the transport on-road component before. Even on-road staff to observe what happens in the communications room. There are many facets of the various roles that could be better understood with these observing shifts.
Some Transport members are not happy with the current Baby Harness. SJA had been contacted to review the design. During this meeting Clinical Governance feedback was the current harness is a clinically approved piece of equipment and that there should be no issues using it. The response from Clinical Governance has been requested in writing to both employee groups. The DHS Ped Rest is the item that will replace the current harness and will be a long term roll out at the moment they are only scheduled for the new Stryker vehicles, but later all vehicles this will be fitted in.
AEAWA – Transport Officers SHOULD NEVER place a child in these devices as the designer’s stipulation is they are only to be used under emergency situations.
A recent update has occurred, members have been struggling to find certain information. There needs to be better connection between management and staff for information dispersal, and many Transport members are stating they are finding information months after it has been released. SJA – the newly appointed Operations Manager will focus on this in detail.
The Radio System
Updated communications regarding radio etiquette, i.e. keeping it short and sweet on the radio than talking too much and taking up the radio channel.
A report on casuals attending shifts after working another job was raised, This had led to officers feeling ‘unsafe’ as the officer had come from a night shift (in another workplace) straight to a day shift with SJA. SJA – stated that this was unsafe and that any officer who feels like their partner is too fatigued to work should raise this. AEAWA – There are volunteers who do that across the state, SJA can not have it both ways. Some volunteers work a full day at their paid employment and then come to volunteer a night shift for SJA.
Wheelchair Kg Limit and SOP
It is updated and on connect and it is 170kg for the limit of the standard SJA wheelchair. A bit more work and investigation around the weight limits will occur. Some officers are not aware of the weight limits which can lead to injuries to both the officers and the patient. SJA – If you believe a patient is too large to move then a call to PTS comms should occur to organise a back up to perform the movement safely.
Community Transport and Inappropriate Jobs
Grayland’s jobs with escorts and interhospital transfers have occurred and some terminally ill patients have been transported. Formed patients (over the last 3 months) have been tasked to with an escort. This is not appropriate, and a review will occur regarding these types of calls. AEAWA – In the interim, if an officer feels the job they have been assigned is not suitable for transport they should discuss this immediately. If they deem that answer to be inappropriate they should contact an AEAWA delegate for further clarification.
Transport Roster Under Metro Guidelines
A brief conversation between a manager and a CATO occurred and the manager stated “no changes can be made to our transport depot in particular (roster changes) because we operate under Metro Guidelines”. This is not the case and SJA will look at any proposed roster changes and assess its suitability against operational guidelines.
Driver Fatigue with Country Kilometers Travelled
Some officers (particularly in the country) are driving hundreds of kilometers a day, some calls seeing crews doing 8-hour turn arounds. SJA are going to review this and are hoping that once more employees are hired, this will reduce these.
Vehicle Specific Checklists
There is only one specific vehicle check list, this is used for all vehicles. SJA need to have checklists for all types of vehicles. It could be easily done for the checklist to be placed on the epcr to determine what list you need to fill out. Ie if you’re logged on as a wheelchair officer then that specific vehicle item checklist can be come up when you log in. SJA will look at this and see if it can be done.
Section4 of the CPR Form
The form is non-valid as it is only for the admission of the patient to the facility and not for the transfer to the facility. The Section 4 needs to be signed so that the NFR can be valid Hospitals need to be aware that Section 4 needs to incorporate the transfer to the facility. SJA – will discuss this with Health and provide feedback to staff.
This is not a new issue and has been brought up multiple times over the past few months. Transport Team Leaders are out and about. Many members state that their roster does not facilitate an ideal time to see the managers. Some managers have been tied in with other roles (covid etc.) which means only one manager is available for the fleet. SJA – this is obviously a budgeting situation, but we do understand its getting busy and we are expanding and we have more accountability placed upon us. Another team Leader is being reviewed, but this will wait until the new Operations Manager is employed. SJA do fill out a Manager Report to show who they have been in contact with. In most cases they see approx. 50% of the fleet.
PTS Dispatch During Jobs
Dispatch often calling whilst they are dealing with patients, some crews can not answer the call, and comms still repeatedly ring. One case a crew were wearing gowns and could not answer the call and received numerous calls. AEAWA – Crews are not happy as nearly every 20 minutes they are getting a call. There was an acknowledgment that ‘welfare checks’ are required in the community, but many of these calls are occurring whilst crews are in hospitals. It appears there has been a directive to call crews every 20-minutes to see what the holdup is. SJA will review.
Ready Now Calls
Calls are getting brought forward to ‘ready now’ and the patient is never ready. Sometimes crews are driving 30 minutes to a ready now call only to be told the paperwork isn’t ready. The question was raised who changes the call to ready now? SJA – this will be reviewed, specifically how the ready now gets activated and assigned. There was no clear answer on how this occurs, and feedback will be presented around this.
Wheelchair Vehicle Dispatching
Being dispatched into forced overtime. There are not enough vehicles, and many days crews feel forced into OT. Calls are being allocated to crews knowingly that a significant shift extension will occur. AEAWA – this can change dependent on the dispatcher, and the question was raised what is the organisations stance on ‘reasonable OT’? is it ½ an hour, an hour?
Modified 79 Times
Jobs are being modified constantly; acknowledgment times are being adjusted to the 79 time. Crews are being shown as ‘79’ whilst traveling to the call. Who is changing this?SJA – stated they do not believe this is being done intentionally but will review this process and provide feedback.
Lack of Transport Vehicles and Use of Ambulances
Some Transport crews are being assigned ambulances to work out of, meaning there is a lack of vehicles for paramedics to commence their shift. Some members have stated they feel pressured to get the vehicle back on time, and in some cases feel pressured to take another call, knowing that the vehicle will return back to the depot late for the oncoming crew. SJA – This will eventually be resolved with the new vehicles being placed into the system, but they are limited to space as many vehicles can not be placed in current depots as they are full. The vehicles have a 6-year life span and there is issues with time and turn arounds in getting vehicles, the time between ordering to receiving the vehicle can be quite extensive.
The meeting concluded with the next JJC date assigned to January 2022.
The AEAWA believed that this was too long away, and many of the agenda items were not even discussed due to time. The meetings need to be aligned to the same 2-hour time slot more frequently or a ½ day meeting should occur every 3-months so that more items can be discussed. The AEAWA will write to SJA to air this grievance. SJA stated they will implement the next JCC for December 2021 but still want the same 2-hour time slot.
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