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Ramping down despite record COVID hospitalisations

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Ambulance ramping has decreased over the past month, but patients still spent 3647 hours – the equivalent of 152 days – ramped outside the state’s overwhelmed hospitals during a month of record COVID-19 hospital admissions.

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The ramping figure for July was a decrease of 191 hours – just under eight days – compared to June, when ambulances were ramped for 3838 hours.

The government says the decrease of more than five per cent followed a month of record COVID-19 hospital admissions.

Authorities believe the current COVID-19 wave, spurred by the highly-contagious BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, peaked on July 19, but it is still unknown whether hospitalisations have also reached a peak.

South Australia today recorded 2421 COVID-19 cases – down from 2933 yesterday.

The number of people with COVID in hospital has also decreased from 356 yesterday, to 316 today.

It comes as the government this afternoon announced it would open a 24-bed facility at a former aged care home at Regency Park to provide transitional care to NDIS patients who no longer need acute medical care, but who have remained in hospital due to a lack of alternative accommodation.

The facility, which costs $1.2 million, will open next week and is designed to treat NDIS patients with a psychosocial disability while they receive mental health support.

Patients currently being treated by the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) will be the first to be transferred to the new facility, followed by patients being treated by other metropolitan health networks.

The facility will be run by Community Living Options in partnership with Wellbeing SA, Uniting SA, CALHN and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.

There are currently 127 NDIS patients in public hospitals who are ready to be discharged but are awaiting alternative accommodation.

“We know there are still more than a hundred NDIS patients ready for discharge but with nowhere to go, so providing a service like this will make a big difference to those previously frustrated they may not be able to access support outside of hospital,” Health Minister Chris Picton said.

“This site is another step we are taking to free up our hospitals, reduce pressure on Emergency Departments and improve patient capacity and flow.”

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