Clarence Valley Independent

Valley’s hospitals improve performance

Geoff Helisma |

The Bureau of Health Information Healthcare Quarterly report shows that the Clarence Valley’s hospitals have lifted their game when compared with the 2017 January to March quarter, despite an increase in patient and emergency presentation numbers.

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) chief executive Wayne Jones said in a media release: “Northern NSW hospitals welcomed increasing numbers of patients through our doors during January to March, and it’s a testament to the skills and commitment of our staff that they continue to deliver high levels of patient care for people in our communities.”

Grafton Base Hospital saw a 2.1 per cent increase in the number of emergency department (ED) presentations compared with the same period in 2017.

The median time for patients to receive treatment in Triage Categories 2 and 3 improved to 82.7 per cent and 75.8 per cent, increases of 20.1 and 9.4 percentage points respectively when compared to last year.

In addition, 80.2 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, compared to 77.6 per cent in 2017.

Maclean District Hospital experienced a 2.3 per cent increase in presentations over the quarter, compared to 2017.

Emergency department patients experienced reductions in waiting times to start treatment, in particular for those in the urgent and semi-urgent categories, where waiting times improved by nine and 19 minutes respectively.

There was also an increase in the percentage of patients leaving the ED within four hours, up to 88.2 from 81.2 per cent for the same quarter in 2017.

Similar results were achieved for elective surgery.

Grafton Base Hospital recorded an increase in the numbers of patients receiving elective surgery for the quarter, up to 576 from 499 in 2017, a 15.4 per cent increase – and more patients were able to receive their surgery within the clinically recommended timeframes, with 100 per cent of urgent and semi-urgent, and 98.4 per cent of non-urgent surgeries performed on time.

“It’s great to see our surgical services performing well and being able to accommodate the additional patients requiring elective surgery in the region,” Mr Jones said.
“It shows that our staff and systems in the Clarence are working well and credit goes to those people involved at every step along the way in producing these good results which benefit patients in our facilities.”
Maclean District Hospital’s elective surgery statistical analysis is a slim volume: there were 38 surgeries performed, up from the 2017 quarter’s 29.

All of these surgeries were completed within the recommended timeframe for elective surgery: 30 days for urgent, 90 days for semi urgent and 365 days for non urgent.

The median waiting time for each category was 12 days for urgent surgery (seven patients), 28 days for semi urgent surgery (10 patients) and 72 days for non urgent surgery (21 patients).

Grafton Base Hospital’s media waiting times were: nine days for urgent surgery (146 patients), 48 days for semi urgent surgery (185 patients) and 267 days for non urgent surgery (244 patients).

There was one ‘staged’ surgery performed.

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