Ambulance ramping outside Geraldton hospitals reaches new heights in the wake of St John WA boss’ departure

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
St John WA CEO Michelle Fyfe announced her resignation after months of intense scrutiny.
Camera IconSt John WA CEO Michelle Fyfe announced her resignation after months of intense scrutiny. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Ambulance delays have reached new heights in Geraldton, with paramedics spending almost double the amount of time ramped outside local hospitals in June than the previous month.

St John WA ambulances were ramped outside Geraldton hospitals for 20.5 hours last month, up from 9.9 hours in May and 18.2 hours in April.

Other health campuses in the State have experienced significantly more delays over the last 12 months — with ambulances ramped at Bunbury Regional Hospital for more than 25 hours in just the last week. But it is only in the last three months that Geraldton has recorded ramping delays of more than 10 hours a month.

Ambulances have been ramped for 114.6 hours so far this year, up from 38.3 hours for all of last year.

The delays come in the wake of the resignation of St John WA boss Michelle Fyfe, who has come under intense scrutiny following the deaths of at least three West Australians while waiting for paramedics, including Geraldton grandmother Joan Hope.

While steadfastly insisting she remained the best person to lead St John, Ms Fyfe did not deny reports she applied for the position of WA Police Commissioner in the midst of the ambulance crisis.

Her decision to fall on her sword comes a fortnight after St John WA chairman Shayne Leslie threw his support behind Ms Fyfe, declaring he remained confident the board had “the right people at the helm”.

On Tuesday evening Mr Leslie confirmed Ms Fyfe would depart on July 12.

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