Key messages

  • The Department of Health & Human Services administers the Non-Emergency Patient Transport (NEPT) Act and Regulations.
  • Clinical practice protocols guide all NEPT activities.

The Department of Health & Human Services is responsible for implementing the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Act 2003 and Non-Emergency Patient Transport Regulations 2016.

Review of the NEPT Act and licencing and regulation of first aid providers

Prior to the last State election, the Victorian Government made an election commitment to review the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Act 2003 (the Act). The review is now underway. The government's commitment was to strengthen compliance with, and enforcement of, the non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) legislation and ensure the highest quality of care for patients.

Specific commitments that were made by the government are to:

  • investigate the extent to which penalties need to be increased
  • conduct snap audits of vehicles
  • ensure vehicles are fit for use
  • require the use of power lift stretchers and lifting cushions.

The review of the Act will be comprehensive which will also necessitate rewriting the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Regulations 2016 (the NEPT Regulations). As part of the review, it is intended to regulate the commercial first aid sector for the first time and this will include a licencing system for first aid providers.

This discussion paper has been prepared to inform the NEPT and first aid sectors, and other stakeholders of the likely direction of the Regulations and the thinking that has informed that direction. Feedback and further information is sought from stakeholders and the public. To that end, the discussion paper includes a number for questions. Submitters are requested to answer only those questions that are relevant. Submitters are not expected to respond to all questions.

The discussion paper does not canvas potential amendments to the Act other than those that have already been announced by the government. The only exception is the flagging of the proposal to licence first aid providers under the Act.

Feedback received from this consultation paper will inform the framing of the NEPT Regulations and the development of new First Aid Regulations.

Once both sets of draft Regulations are prepared, there will be a second round of public consultation. Should the costs imposed by either set of Regulations exceed $2 million per annum for the life of the Regulations (10 years), a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is required to accompany the release of the draft Regulations. A RIS is a cost benefit and risk benefit analysis of the proposed Regulations.

Licencing and regulation of the first aid sector will replace stand-by accreditation of NEPT licencees.

The Regulations will be drafted to provide for the licencing scheme for NEPT and first aid providers as required by the Act. The Regulations will set minimum standards and will be drafted to ensure they are outcome-based where possible, rather than being prescriptive.

Submissions are invited and will be received until 28 July 2019.

Submissions may be made can be made via email to privatehospitals@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Clinical practice protocols

The 2016 non-emergency patient transport: Clinical practice protocols are for use by licensed providers of non-emergency patient transport for the triage and care of patients during transport and when providing first aid services at public events.

The protocols have recently been reviewed to capture changes in clinical practice that have occurred since the protocols were first published.

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