Australian Paramedics Association (Victoria)

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  • 01 Jul 2021 00:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    Closure

    It is with some regret we inform you that, after consideration at a Special General Meeting, the Australian Paramedic Association (VIC) will be ceasing representative operations shortly.

    As an organisation that relies on the availability of mostly full-time employees to volunteer their time, our Committee and Liaison Officers have been under increasing pressure in their commitments over a number of years. This has steadily taken a toll on them both professionally and personally. In many cases, sacrifices had to be made in order to maintain personal wellbeing and work commitments.

    Our Association currently operates alongside two organisations with similar representative aims; each of these organisations, however, have their own employees to support their members. During a number of interactions between the three representative organisations and Ambulance Victoria, it has been seen that the collaborative approach favoured by APA (VIC) has allowed for the sometimes differing methodologies to achieve a common goal – that of working with AV for the benefit of employees regardless of their chosen representative. Although APA (VIC) is unable to continue its work, we are assured that employees will still have a choice in their representation – one of the primary reasons that the Association was initially formed.

    On behalf of our members, past and present, we thank you for supporting the Association's work and approach to the representation, and for working with us to achieve common goals.

    Sincerely

    APA (VIC) Committee


  • 25 Mar 2021 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)
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    Chief Paramedic Officer Update

    24 March 2021

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    Dear Colleagues

    Licensing of NEPT sector and First Aid providers in Victoria

    Legislation on the licencing of the Non-Emergency Patient Transport (NEPT) and first aid sector was tabled at the Victorian Parliament on 17 March 2021 through the introduction of the NEPT Amendment Bill 2021.

    The purpose of the Bill is to update and modernise the NEPT Act 2003 by making patient safety and quality of care a central tenet of the legislation, strengthening compliance and enforcement of the existing licensing system for providers of non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services, and introducing licensing and regulation of the commercial first aid sector.

    It does so primarily by:

    • introducing a general duty of safety to require the provision of safe patient services and appropriate quality of care at all times;
    • establishing licensing and regulatory requirements for the commercial first aid sector;
    • strengthening requirements for provision of information by licence holders to the Secretary; and
    • expanding the mechanisms available to the Secretary to request information from licence holders and respond to concerns, including by issuing directions to licence holders.

    The Bill will be supported by an amended NEPT Regulations and new First Aid Regulations, both of which are currently being drafted. It is anticipated that the draft Regulations will be released for public comment in late May 2021 along with a Regulatory Impact Statement for the amendments to the NEPT Regulations.

    Following receipt of submissions, both sets of Regulations will be finalised for commencement on 1 September 2021. Prior to this, the Department will conduct public information sessions to explain the new requirements and discuss what additional guidance the sector will require to ensure understanding of and compliance with the regulations.

    For the First Aid sector there will be a 12-month transition period to meet the requirements for licencing, so all commercial first aid providers will require a licence by 1 September 2022.

    For further information, please see click on the links below:

    Please visit the website and download the discussion paper for further background.
     
    For additional information and updates related to this, please contact:

    Victor Di Paola
    Manager Legislation Reform
    Private Hospitals & NEPT Regulation
    Department of Health
    03 9456 4572
    victor.dipaola@health.vic.gov.au

    Use of the Paramedic Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine administration

    Paramedics have an important role as part of the COVID-19 vaccine administration workforce.
    Paramedics, especially paramedics who are not currently working for Ambulance Victoria, are actively encouraged to consider joining the vaccination workforce. There are a wide variety of opportunities for short and longer-term employment at vaccination sites across Victoria.

    Below is a list of frequently asked questions about how to get involved:

    Who can apply for a position delivering the COVID-19 vaccination program?

    Any registered paramedic may apply and will be temporarily authorised to administer vaccines under the general supervision and support of experienced immunisers.

    How do I apply for a position delivering the COVID-19 vaccination program?

    You will need to apply directly to Torrens Health, who are operating on behalf of the Victorian Government. Further information on the Department of Health website.

    What are the additional training requirements?

    Registered paramedics under the emergency authorised workforce must complete the following in order as listed below:

    1.    Victorian COVID-19 e-Learning Competency

    •    Online eLearning (three modules) (includes videos on multidose vials)
    •    Local or Victorian practical new immuniser simulation

    2.    National COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program

    •    Six core modules
    •    Additional modules specific to individual vaccines

    3.    Emergency authorised workforce (vaccine administrators) are to complete a clinical skills and competency assessment which includes a minimum of five supervised vaccination procedures.

    Can I work at one hospital or vaccination facility and also help administer the vaccination at another?

    Yes, however, the Victorian COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines recommends limiting mobility between wards and between hospitals for staff working in COVID wards

    Alan Eade
    Chief Paramedic Officer, Safer Care Victoria
    Email Alan.Eade@safercare.vic.gov.au
    Twitter @alan_eade


    Safer Care Victoria pixel.gif Victoria State Government
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    Except where otherwise indicated, the images in this publication show models and illustrative settings only, and do not necessarily depict actual services, facilities or recipients of services. This publication may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

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    © State of Victoria, Safer Care Victoria, March 2021

    If you would like to receive this publication in an accessible format, please email communications@safercare.vic.gov.au

    Safer Care Victoria
    50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    www.safercare.vic.gov.au

  • 28 Feb 2021 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    Registered Paramedics with Conditions (Time-Based Supervised Practice)

    UPDATE 28 Feb 2021

    In early Jan 2021, we expressed ongoing concerns that AV was yet to implement any change as a result of APHRA's update. We also advised AV's GAP Recruitment that applicants were experiencing difficulty in contacting them, with emails of simple enquiries failing to be acknowledged or responded to for weeks at a time; there is no direct phone number available. 

    After a number of emails, on 17 Feb AV confirmed that, "Ambulance Victoria is now considering applicants with recency conditions." They also advised us that they acknowledge the importance of candidate enquiries and 'place value on responding'.

    AV reinforced that being placed on Order of Merit does not guarantee an offer of employment; we agreed AV advises all applicants of this, however applicants have been held off from Order of Merit due solely to recency conditions, and this problem should now be resolved by placement on the Order, or advice of any change in their status.

    We again expressed that we still have concerns over poor communication with applicants, and a failure to respond to enquiries in a reasonable timeframe. We are awaiting a response.

    We are not aware of any candidates with 'recency conditions' on their Registration who have been offered a position as a Graduate Paramedic this year, and will continue to pursue equitable access to the AV 'Order of Merit' for Registered Paramedics in this position. 

    UPDATE 21 Dec 2020

    Late last week the Paramedicine Board of Australia quietly published an update on its "Supervised practice framework" webpage.

    This update include a section "Supervised practice with authorised bodies" that addresses a number of the issues we have highlighted.

    In particular, this will apply to Registered Paramedics working with

    • Ambulance Victoria
    • Ambulance Service of New South Wales
    • Queensland Ambulance Service
    • St John Ambulance Service WA
    • ACT Ambulance Service
    • State Medical Assistance
    • Paramedical Services
    • Ambulance Tasmania
    • LifeAid

    The following documents are available from the webpage and should be read for further detail:

    AV have advised that current applicants who accept an offer for Graduate Employment from AV and require a "Supervised practice plan for an Authorised Body" will have this co-ordinated by AV. 

    Our thanks go to Alan Eade, Chief Paramedic Officer (Safer Care Victoria), for his assistance in pursuing this issue with PBA / AHPRA, and to the AV team who have worked with PBA to ensure both interim and long-term solutions. 

    30 Oct 2020

    Discussions with Ambulance Victoria (AV) indicate that there is an interim arrangement with the Paramedicine Board of Australia regarding recency of practise Supervised Practice Conditions. This arrangement in place to support COVID-19 response means that such conditions will enable Registered Paramedics to be eligible for the Graduate Ambulance Paramedic (GAP) Program with AV. The program will be considered as appropriate Supervised Practice by the Board (including use of AV's monthly Graduate Reports for AHPRA's reporting requirements); this of course relies on applicants being successful in AV’s recruitment process and AV having vacancies or operational requirements to commence graduate staff.

    Both the Board and AV will continue to independently assess each individual's conditions, reporting, and/or performance to ensure the Registered Paramedic has met all obligations to organisational requirements.

    Applicants to AV's GAP Program will remain subject to all other requirements and conditions of the application process, however this interim arrangement has effectively removed the hurdle of time-based Supervised Practice Conditions should AV need to commence staff to support the COVID-19 response who have recency of practise supervision requirements.

    APA (VIC) has also been informed that the Paramedicine Board of Australia continues to consider options for how such time-based Supervised Practice Conditions may be met by Registered Paramedics including the undertaking of a transition to practice program (or equivalent); this includes consideration of AV's GAP Program, and similar programs from other jurisdictional services.

    We look forward to confirmation from the Paramedicine Board of Australia of these options in the not too distant future.

  • 29 Dec 2020 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    Members are advised that the Australian Paramedics Association (VIC) will hold its Annual General Meeting on 14 Jan 2021, via ZOOM. Given recent restrictions on public gatherings, it has been determined that an electronic medium will be the most appropriate for the AGM.

    Members are invited lodge their intent to attend as soon as practicable via the AGM Event here:

    Annual General Meeting 2021

    The AGM Agenda is published as a Members Only News Item here: 

    AGM 2021 Agenda
  • 19 Nov 2020 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    Triple Zero (000) locations made easy

    Australia’s emergency services have developed a free life-saving app, Emergency+, which helps people call the right emergency number and confirm their location. what3words is now available in this app, and emergency services in Australia accept and use what3words addresses to find Triple Zero (000) callers faster.

    What is "what3words"?

    what3words in the Emergency+ app is the easiest way to tell Triple Zero (000) exactly where you need help. It has divided the world into 3 meter squares and given each one a unique three word identifier.

    Information taken from:

    https://www-origin.what3words.com/es/news/general/australian-emergency-services-accept-what3words

  • 03 Nov 2020 17:10 | Teri-Jane Morris (Liaison Officer) (Administrator)

    The Australian Paramedic Association (Vic) is very aware of the concerning allegations currently reported by the media, surrounding sexual harassment and discrimination in Ambulance Victoria’s workplace. We stand by our members in support of ZERO TOLERANCE toward this gross misconduct.

    We feel it is vital that this prevalent issue, and any other form of discrimination, harassment and/or bullying is discussed early and openly as a primary preventative measure. It is important to the Association that raising these distressing issues to your direct line managers, or higher if necessary, will not result in punitive action. Members should not feel at risk of repercussions which are detrimental to future career progression/opportunities or being shamed/ostracised by their peers.

    We owe all complainants our respect and gratitude for raising a very divisive issue, at potential risk to their own careers and psychosocial health. We must support them and anyone else who comes forward during this challenging time, especially as debate will arise as more reports are presented for further investigation.

    APA (Vic) is conscious that often when an issue of this nature is aired publicly it can trigger unexpected personal responses in people or remind them of unpleasant experiences of their own.  If you feel you are in need of immediate support, please do not hesitate to access any of the following support networks, internal and external to Ambulance Victoria:

    INTERNAL SUPPORT

    1800 626 377 (1300 MANERS)

    Press 1:     Peer Support

    Press 2:     VACU 24/7 confidential telephone counselling line

    Press 3:     Pastoral Care (AV Chaplain)

    Press 4:     Bullying & Harassment

    Press 5:     Police Statements and Court Attendance                          

    Press 6:     Alcohol & Other Drugs Advice & Support (8am-5pm)

    EXTERNAL SUPPORT

    Emergency 000

    Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 (24hr)

    Lifeline 13 11 14 (24hr)

    Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (24hr)

    Family GP

    Other Social Supports

    ** This is not an exhaustive list. Further services can be found here


    If any of our members feel distressed by the current debate or have personal experience of sexual harassment, discrimination and/or bullying in the workplace, we encourage you to contact the Association immediately if you require our support, assistance and/or legal advice.

    (If you are not a member and have been exposed to distress or personal experience as mentioned above, please get in touch with the Association so we can discuss how we can assist you through this time. This is reviewed and assessed on case by case basis.)

  • 19 Oct 2020 18:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    After a significant period of review, an update of our website has finally occurred. 

    With improved reliability and increased functionality, this upgrade will enhance the information resource hub for our members. 

    When logging in, members should check and update their profile to ensure that the Association can maintain contact with them. (Once logged in, clicking on the member name in the top right will show the current profile information). 

  • 05 Oct 2020 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    Darren Roberts (Director) has offered an introductory Auslan course to all members of APA (VIC). In his words,

    "This is my small way of saying "Thank you" for the amazing work they have done in the past year and l hope that by learning Auslan the Paramedics are in turn able to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people in an emergency situation. By doing so Paramedics will be able to assist deaf people to understand what is happening which in turns calms the fear of any person in an emergency situation."

    This offer becomes part of the Continuing Professional Development that APA (VIC) offers to all members: more information is available on our CPD page.

  • 14 Sep 2020 12:00 | Sven Holzheimer (Secretary) (Administrator)

    APA (VIC) has exciting news about Continuing Professional Development.

    As Registered Paramedics approach the close of the second period of CPD reporting (01 Dec 2020), APA (VIC) is pleased to announce that all financial members will today gain access to the Ausmed Clinical Resources as a benefit of their membership (valued at $360 per annum for private subscribers).

    This new member benefit makes available the Ausmed library of resources for CPD purposes, in addition to their (free) CPD documentation tool that many already use, and direct access to their support team.

    The Ausmed website, and their App for both iOS and Android, provide access to both the library and documentation features (for a complete CPD Portfolio).

    More information is available on the CPD Page, and in the Sep 2020 Member Bulletin

APA (VIC) has a policy of Zero Tolerance towards abusive or inciteful comments. 
All News and Forums are moderated by the Committee and posters may be requested to modify or remove posts that are not deemed appropriate. Failure to do so will result in the Committee taking action to remove the content.
In extreme cases, the membership status of belligerent or abusive members will be reviewed.

APA (VIC) gratefully acknowledges the commitment of our Partners & Services Providers

Australian Paramedics Association (VIC) Inc.
Incorporated Association Registration Number: A0054489H
Australian Business Number: 82 998 868 768

Postal Address: PO Box 457, Mornington VIC 3931
Phone: 1300 000 272 (APA)
Email: enquiries@apavic.org.au

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