06 Sep 2014


Changing the heartbeat: St John New Zealand transformation in the Communications Centre

lady in emergency control centre

At the very heart of any ambulance service is clear and unambiguous communication between the control room and operational resources as a normal part of day-to-day operations.

As such, the St John communications centres – the main connection to the community in need and available resources – was always going to figure in a leading role in the organisation’s transformation.

- Due diligence, extreme care, guidance on global best practice and months of planning characterised the change


After prioritisation and assessment of all staff suggestions received through the IDA process, the Communications Centre was chosen as a Transformation Focused Initiative, with a dedicated program of work specifically targeting communications and operations.

The number of calls falling into priority 1 (Category A) response reduced by 20 percent. With a 15% reduction in the time taken to allocate vehicles to the most life threatening calls, St John also saw a reduction of 30 seconds in the average “drive to scene time” for the most life threatening patients within days of activating the more meaningful prioritisation system.

St Johns Ambulance

- We’ve seen improvement in response performance metrics and also in staff morale and enthusiasm

Alan Goudge, St John New Zealand