Leaked emails show Queensland Health officials wanted to change how ramping data is recorded
Posted On May 11, 2022
Emails obtained by 9News show Queensland Health officials wanted to change the way ramping data is recorded in a way that downplayed delays faced by the state’s ambulance service.
He was found dead when paramedics arrived, despite living 5km away from Redlands Hospital.
“Why is nobody there for him, why did he have to die on his bedroom floor?” Dewitt’s daughter, Mareta Dewitt, said.
Data obtained from 9News from the month before Dewitt’s death show the hospital was facing delays of over half an hour in ramping queues for half of all ambulances offloading their patients.
The average ramping time was recorded as 54.2 minutes – time spent waiting for available hospital beds before paramedics could get back on the road.
“He would still be here had the ambulance come when it was supposed to come,” Ms Dewitt said.
Emails between Queensland Ambulance Service authorities and Queensland Health show changes to the data collection would skew ramping statistics and their impacts.
QAS authorities pushed back against the changes, which would impact the way “lost time per patient” is measured and recorded.
It was also proposed wait times would be measured from when patients in an ambulance saw a triage nurse, rather than when they first arrived at the hospital in an ambulance.
“I think this wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of the situation, but Nick (Qld Health) would like to have this pushed,” an email from a QAS official read.
The ambulance commissioner replied, “I just hope we are not looking for ways to reframe the impacts, as they are very real for QAS”.
It was suggested the new method would potentially lead to “a reduction between 60 to 120 hours per day,” in recorded wait times.
“This can’t be seen as an improvement, rather just a different capture method.”
In a statement, Queensland Health said no changes had been made.
“There has been no change to the way we record data relating to patient off stretcher times and lost time per patient,” a spokesperson for Queensland Health said.