28 Feb 2014

St John to deploy more frontline staff

1:29 pm on 28 February 2014

St John Ambulance has taken what it calls the first step in addressing under-resourcing.

The service has approved $4 million of funding for 57 extra staff, who will all be frontline, ranging from basic to advanced-level paramedics.

Concerns about overworked staff and low morale prompted a major review of how the service could make the best use of its resources.

Chief executive Peter Bradley says they've taken the money from their reserves, and while it won't address all the needs, it's a start - the first phase of a five-year plan.

He says ideas for better use of resources include more phone advice for people, to save ambulances being deployed, and referring patients to other health partners.

Mr Bradley says most of the 57 new staff will be in Auckland and Christchurch, with recruitment starting as soon as possible.