Northern NSW hospitals meeting high demand
Emergency departments across Northern NSW Local Health District continued to experience high demand throughout 2018, with 428 more presentations to emergency departments across the district in April to June compared to the same period the previous year.
Lynne Weir, Acting Chief Executive NNSWLHD said overall 83.9 per cent of patients started treatment on time, a significant improvement of 4.5 percentage points compared to the same quarter last year.
Eighty per cent of patients left emergency departments within four hours of presentation, a stable result, even with the increase in presentations over the quarter.
“Northern NSW hospitals continue to see increasing numbers of patients through our doors, and our staff do an incredible job delivering the high levels of patient care that people in our communities rely on,” Ms Weir said.
The 2018-19 budget for NNSWLHD is over $833 million, an increase of nearly $47 million on the 2017-18 annualised budget. This is the highest increase in annualised expense budget out of all rural NSW Health Districts.
Between mid-2012 and mid-2018 NNSWLHD has increased its workforce by an additional 655 full time equivalent staff – an increase of over 17 per cent, including 140 more doctors and 183 more nurses.
The percentage of patients being transferred from ambulance to hospital staff within 30 minutes also increased 1.7 percentage points this quarter, and reached 92.3 per cent.
Across the district, each of the eight hospitals featured in the report saw increased percentages of patients starting treatment on time, with Lismore Base, Ballina District, and Byron Central having significant improvements of more than five per cent in this area.
“With our current suite of capital works and infrastructure projects underway across the district, we look forward to our hospitals being able to continue to perform well as health care needs increase in the coming years.”
“A $7.35 million upgrade currently underway at Ballina District Hospital, as well as $400,000 refurbishment to the emergency department will improve facilities for our staff to be able to continue meeting demand going forwards,” Ms Weir said.
Across Northern NSW, more than 3,735 elective surgeries were performed between April and June 2018, an increase of 2.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, and more than 95 per cent of patients had their elective surgery within the clinically recommended timeframe. More than 99 per cent of urgent surgery was completed on time.
In 2018-19 the NSW Government is investing a record $22.9 billion in health, representing a $1.1 billion increase over the 2017-18 Budget. This includes $19.2 billion towards improving services in hospitals in NSW this year.
EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY
Ballina: saw a 1.1 per cent increase in presentations, 42 people, while the time to treatment for patients improved significantly. 85.9 per cent of patients started treatment on time, up seven percentage points on last year, and 81.7per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, up from 75.5 per cent last year.
Byron Central: experienced an 8.6 per cent increase in presentations, 378 more patients, while the time to treatment for patients improved or remained stable in all triage categories. There was a significant improvement in the number of patients starting treatment on time, up to 86.2 per cent from 79.1 per cent last year. 84 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours. The median time for patients in semi-urgent and non-urgent triage categories to receive treatment improved by nine minutes.
Casino: Had fewer presentations for the quarter, with a 13 per cent decrease on 2017. More patients had their treatment start on time, an increase of 5.4 percentage points to 73.7 per cent. The percentage of patients whose transfer of care time was within the target (30 mins) increased by 1.1 percentage point to 86.7 per cent.
Grafton: A one per cent increase in the number of presentations compared with the same period in 2017, to 6,314 people. 80.3 per cent of patients started treatment on time, up from 76.5 per cent in 2017. 78.8 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, a slight increase on 2017.
Lismore: 3.9 per cent increase in the number of presentations compared with the same period in 2017, up to 8,950. There was a significant improvement in patients starting treatment on time, up 7.4 percentage points to 81.1 per cent this quarter. 70 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, up from 66.7 per cent last year.
Maclean: saw a 3.9 per cent increase in presentations over the quarter, up 109 people compared to 2017. More patients started treatment on time, up to 80.2 per cent for the quarter compared to 77.6 per cent last year. The percentage of patients who left the ED within four hours also increased to 86 per cent.
Murwillumbah: Had 1.1 per cent fewer presentations this quarter, with 4,311 patients, and treatment times remaining relatively stable. 90.3 per cent of patients were treated on time, and 87.4 per cent left the ED within four hours.
Tweed: With a slight decrease in attendances, more patients started treatment on time, up to 86.6 per cent, compared to 83.5 per cent last year.
ELECTIVE SURGERY PERFORMANCE
Ballina: 100 per cent of 106 urgent and non-urgent patients received their surgery on time this quarter. There was a significant improvement for non-urgent patients, the percentage of patients receiving their surgery on time was up 6.5 percentage points on the same period last year. Furthermore 96.9 per cent of patients requiring semi-urgent surgery had their procedure within the clinically recommended timeframe.
Grafton: Increase of 1.7 per cent of patients, to 602, received elective surgery this quarter, and 99.5 per cent of all patients received elective surgery on time.
Lismore: 1,306 people, a 14.6 per cent increase, had their elective surgeries performed this quarter.
Casino: 98.7 per cent of all 249 elective surgery procedures were performed on time for the quarter.
Murwillumbah: Overall activity and performance figures remained steady compared to last year. Median waiting time for ear, nose and throat surgery improved significantly from 278 days last year to 191 days this year.
Tweed: Continues to maintain an overall on-time elective surgery performance of 98.5 per cent of 842 people who underwent surgery this quarter.