IMAGINE that you’ve just experienced a medical emergency.
You’ve managed to stop panicking long enough to call 000 and an ambulance is on its way.
Once it arrives the paramedics start treating you, but first they want your medical history. Do you have any health conditions? Are you on any medications? Do you have any special requirements?
As if the situation isn’t stressful enough, you now have to recall all this information while trying to stay calm and hoping you haven’t missed anything.
It would be so much easier if they already knew this and all you had to do was focus on recovering.
Well, lucky for you NSW and QLD have a program that can allow just that.
NSW Ambulance offers Authorised Care Plans for those that have complex needs that mean they need to be treated differently.
The plan notifies paramedics of any existing disabilities or medical conditions the patient has and authorises them to provide care outside the usual scope of practice.
For example, if you require specific medication different to what would normally be used or if you needed to be taken to a specific specialist service rather than just the nearest Emergency Department, they would be allowed to do so.
So how do you go about getting one?
Depending on the needs of you or the person you’re caring for, both Authorised Adult General Care Plans and Authorised Adult Palliative Care Plans are available on the NSW Ambulance website at https://www.ambulance.nsw.gov.au/our-services/authorised-care-plans or if you prefer to receive a copy of these forms in the post, ring CPSA on 1800 451 488.
First, sit with your treating medical practitioner to fill out the form.
They will email or fax the completed form to NSW Ambulance.
Within four to six weeks the plan will be reviewed and endorsed.
The approved plan is then sent back to you and your medical practitioner with an attached covering letter.
Then just keep your copy on hand somewhere easy to see in case anything ever happens so paramedics can give you appropriate tailored care.
These plans are valid for twelve months before they need to be submitted.
The only thing to note is that paramedics only have access to a limited number of medications (list available on the form). If you need anything outside of this, it will need to be available at your home with easy access for paramedics.
The Queensland QAS Ambulance Management Plan works in a similar way, but no other states seem to have a comparable service.
End-of-life planning by you yourself is vital to your dignity in old age
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