On 14 April 2023, the Victorian Government released the terms of reference for a review of non-emergency patient transport services in Victoria.
In addition to considering procurement arrangements, the review will also assess timeliness of services, how to make the best use of workforce skills, tackle fragmentation, support financial sustainability and explore ways to connect Victorians to the right transport.
This expanded review scope will allow for a more comprehensive look at what is needed to ensure these services meet the needs of the Victoria community both now and into the future.
The review will be led by Member for Melton Steve McGhie, with a final report to be presented to the government for consideration by the end of 2023.
The review will be guided by conversations with the sector and those who interact with it, including NEPT staff and providers, AV, health services, industrial partners, peak bodies, and most importantly Victorians who use NEPT services.
A discussion paper will be released in May and there will be consultation opportunities throughout the conduct of the review. Further updates will be available on this webpage.
Terms of reference
The review will:
- Review the performance of non-emergency patient transport services (NEPT) in Victoria, defined as the timeliness, efficiency, safety and quality of public and private NEPT delivered for public health services, public hospitals and Ambulance Victoria.
- Commission and oversee independent expert contractors to analyse and compare the total costs, benefits, feasibility, financial sustainability and broader workforce and community impacts of potential alternative procurement strategies, including (but not limited to):
- Revising current procurement arrangements to reduce fragmentation, increase operational flexibility and improve workforce pay and conditions.
- Replacing current procurement arrangements with an in-sourced delivery model, such as bringing NEPT services within Ambulance Victoria, or within an alternative or new public provider.
- Identify further strategies beyond procurement to improve sector performance, including by improving route efficiency and resource allocation, reviewing clinical practice protocols, supporting appropriate service use, more fully leveraging workforce skills, and better aligning supply with demand.
- Consider how the Department of Health can best use its governance, planning, regulatory and commissioning levers to optimize the performance of the NEPT sector.
- Develop recommendations on how to optimise performance by the NEPT sector in the short-term, and how to position it to better meet the needs of the Victorian community in the future.
- Release an early discussion paper and call for public submissions from stakeholders responding to these issues.
- Provide regular progress updates and a final report by the end of December 2023 to the Minister for Ambulance Services.
In conducting the review, consultation with a range of stakeholders, including but not limited to patients, carers and community representatives; workforce representatives will be undertaken. This includes relevant unions; staff of public health services and public hospitals; Ambulance Victoria and NEPT providers. The review’s recommendations will endeavour to achieve practical, prioritized, efficient and sustainable outcomes that enhance the lives of people who currently (or in future will) use Victoria’s public health system.
Reviewed 13 April 2023