Ambulance waiting times
SA Health is committed to improving ambulance response times and reducing ramping, with work underway to improve access to care and patient flow in the public health system. As we work to deliver improvements, we will share performance information with the community, including how quickly we are able to arrive at ambulance call outs, and the time it takes to transfer the patient to the care of the Emergency Department (ED).
We are committed to ensuring ambulances arrive within 8 minutes during priority 1 (emergency) calls in the metropolitan area or a maximum of 16 minutes in priority 2 (urgent) situations.
Our metropolitan public hospitals aim to receive care of all patients within 30 minutes of ambulance arrival at the ED. If it takes longer than 30 minutes, this is referred to as delayed transfer of care, also known as ramping.
The data is available for all metropolitan Emergency Departments.
SA Health is working on strategies to improve these outcomes for the community.
Ambulance response times are measured from the time from when the Triple Zero (000) call comes into the SA Ambulance Service Emergency Operations Centre or when an existing request for an ambulance changes priority, to when the first ambulance arrives at the patient’s location.
Ambulance response times are a key indicator in measuring our performance. Our metropolitan response time targets are as follows:
Attend to 60 percent of priority 1 (emergency) calls within 8 minutes
Attend to 90 percent of priority 2 (urgent) calls within 16 minutes
The charts below show response time performance priority 1 (emergency) and priority 2 (urgent) in the metropolitan area.
Priority 1 Response Times - July 2017 to August 2023
Priority 2 Response Times - July 2017 to August 2023
Delayed Transfer of Care (Ramping)
Our metropolitan public hospitals aim to receive all patients that present to our emergency departments via ambulance within 30 minutes of arrival. If a patient waits longer than 30 minutes to be transferred to the ED, this is referred to as delayed transfer of care, commonly known as ramping. To monitor the level of ramping, SA Health record the time (in hours) that ambulances are at a hospital site for longer than 30 minutes.
The charts below shows ramped hours across metropolitan public hospitals over the past six years. This can be viewed by all sites, by Local Health Network or by hospital site.