Patients can take advantage of hospital transfer

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Southern Wheatbelt community paramedic Hayden Johnstone with Narrogin St John Ambulance volunteers Andrea Waters, Jenni Brown, Dee Dartnell, Chloe Campbell, Amanda Howell and Courtney Saunders.
Camera IconSouthern Wheatbelt community paramedic Hayden Johnstone with Narrogin St John Ambulance volunteers Andrea Waters, Jenni Brown, Dee Dartnell, Chloe Campbell, Amanda Howell and Courtney Saunders. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Narrogin Observer

St John Ambulance volunteers say they want more people to know about Narrogin’s patient transfer service, which became a full-time service in the town about six months ago.

Volunteer Jenni Brown said the service freed up volunteers to focus on emergency situations.

“This is a service provided by St John to be able to make non-urgent transfers for people who need to go to Perth, Albany, Bunbury or wherever they need for medical appointments, hospitals or mental health transports,” she said.

“Patient transfer makes sure any person who needs to get to medical help in some way can get help.”

There are eight paid patient transfer officers at the Narrogin sub-centre, with officers from other towns able to assist during busy periods.

Southern Wheatbelt community paramedic Hayden Johnstone said the patient transfer service was booked through hospitals.

“The service is for someone who is hospitalised in Narrogin and needs further help at a tertiary hospital,” he said.

Patient transfer officers will pick up a patient and transport them to facilities such as Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, Albany Health Campus or the Narrogin Airport.

Mr Johnstone said patient transfer was not an emergency service.

“We want to assure the public, despite having a relationship with WA Country Health Service involving transporting patients, that it doesn’t drain resources from volunteer groups who respond to triple-0 calls,” he said.

“We have ample resources to respond to calls and our No.1 priority is providing emergency service to the public.”

Patient transfer officers are on are on call 24/7.

Nurses and doctors can escort patients to help the officers.

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