St John Ambulance claims ramping rates have increased threefold over the last five years.(ABC News: Andrew O'Connor)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelEmergency services are warning authorities about a concerning increase in ambulance ramping in the Perth metropolitan area, with concerns patient care is being compromised.Key points:Paramedics are worried about ambulance ramping rates at Perth hospitalsThey say the rates have risen significantly in recent weeksBut the Health Minister says ambulance handover rates are better than everThe practice known as "ramping" occurs when hospital emergency departments are at full capacity, forcing patients to remain in the care of paramedics while they wait for a bed.Patients are often lined up in hospital waiting areas or corridors.St John Ambulance WA medical director Paul Bailey said while ambulance and emergency department activity slowed during the initial COVID period, ramping rates were now three times higher than five years ago."Both walk-in and ambulance activity dropped into our emergency department so their capacity to accept patients improved, but in the last few weeks really things have pretty much gone back to normal, and we're now seeing ramping at troubling levels again," he told Radio 6PR.Mr Bailey said there had been 1,700 hours of ambulance ramping last month, compared to 500 hours for the same period in 2015. St John Ambulance says ramping has increased significantly in recent weeks.(ABC News: Natasha Harradine)He believed part of the problem was that hospitals had reconfigured their way of dealing with patients due to COVID-19 risks."To give you an idea of that, last week and the week before we had a period of time in Perth when we only had two spare ambulances unallocated to patients in the whole metro area, and I'm really worried that's going to lead us into a bad place," he said.Mr Bailey said delaying care for urgent cases could have detrimental consequences."We know that patients who have delayed commencement of their care in the emergency department do worse than patients who go straight through, so their length of stay increases, their complication rate increases,
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