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Lakes DHB supports aspirations to improve air ambulance service
11 October 2018
Lakes DHB supports aspirations to improve air ambulance service
Lakes DHB is supportive of the aspirations to improve the air ambulance helicopter service delivery and response times, as announced by the Minister of Health Dr David Clark on Friday. 
Lakes DHB clinical staff look forward to working with the successful provider, Central Air Ambulance Rescue Limited (CAARL) which is a joint venture of five trusts. CAARL has entered into an agreement with the National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO) and will begin operating in the region from 1 November. 
Under the agreement announced on Friday, air ambulance helicopter services will be provided from bases in Hamilton, Wellington, New Plymouth, Hastings, Taupo, Gisborne, Tauranga and Palmerston North. All bases will continue to service local search and rescue needs. 
Rotorua will not have a base, but Lakes DHB clinicians have been given assurances that the Rotorua region will be well-covered by the bases in Taupo, Tauranga and Hamilton, with the response times to incidents estimated to be the same or faster than under the current model. 
Lakes DHB Chief Executive Ron Dunham, says talks are carrying on to determine how the air ambulance service will be staffed and how it will operate so that the declared response times can be achieved and patient safety can be improved. 
“We are seeking assurances so that we know the Lakes community will have improved access and clinical safety and service oversight and look forward to these matters being worked through, says Ron Dunham.