WA Virtual Emergency Department

The WA Virtual Emergency Department (WAVED) will give patients the option of being seen virtually in the comfort of their own home when safe and appropriate to do so, rather than waiting in an emergency department (ED). This partnership between the Department of Health, Health Service Providers (HSPs) and St John WA will provide patients with clinically appropriate alternative care options and help reduce visits to the ED. This will help alleviate pressures on WA’s hospitals and ensure that beds are available for those who most need them.

Older adults within residential aged care facilities in the Perth metropolitan area are the initial priority for WAVED as they are at much greater risk of experiencing harm from a hospital visit, such as hospital acquired infections, falls, loss of muscle mass/function and delirium.

Many other states in Australia have successfully implemented virtual emergency care services, which have proven to be safe, effective and provide excellent patient experience.

Residential aged care

Residents in Perth metropolitan residential aged care facilities are being prioritised initially for the WAVED program because the research shows that frail older people are more likely to experience harm from a hospital visit, and existing referral pathways and structures to support these patients are already in place.

Consultation with residential aged care providers and a consumer reference group is ongoing. Feedback is being used to inform the WAVED service, key project deliverables and to enhance ongoing communication with stakeholders.

Information about WAVED will be communicated in several ways including via the residential aged care facilities and St John WA staff to residents, their families, carers and staff.


Feedback on your experience with WAVED (as a patient, family member, carer or aged care staff member) is welcomed to improve service delivery and aid communication. Feedback can be provided through an online WAVED survey (external site).

For any other enquiries please contact WAVEDEnquiries@health.wa.gov.au.

Project updates

Phased implementation

From September 2023, a WAVED ‘proof of concept’ model will commence in a phased approach to allow for testing, risk mitigation and ongoing monitoring of outcomes. Residents in Perth metropolitan aged care homes will be prioritised in the initial phase.

Initially, suitable patients will be proactively identified by St John WA Paramedic Navigators. Over time, the service will expand to other patient groups and to enable direct referrals from healthcare and aged care providers.

In addition, Health Service Providers in the metropolitan area have established local pilot models that support the WAVED model by providing alternative care pathways to in-person emergency department attendance.

Project timeline

The first phase of WAVED will begin in September 2023. This is a partnership between the Department of Health and St John Ambulance where emergency clinicians, paramedics, nurses, and support staff will provide virtual consultations and treatment, with referral to supporting services as required. 

Last reviewed: 08-09-2023