Emergency departments across Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) continued to experience increased demand in 2018, with 1,567 more emergency presentations compared to the same quarter last year. Chief Executive of Southern NSW Local Health District, Andrew Newton said despite this 84 per cent of patients left the emergency department within four hours. “The results from the Bureau of Health Information quarterly report (April to June 2018) clearly demonstrate that patients who have been treated in Southern NSW Local Health District Hospitals have waited less time in our emergency departments and are having their elective surgery more quickly,” Mr Newton said. “The median patient wait times for elective surgery across the Health District decreased by 48 days for non-urgent elective surgery, down to 155 days.” The figures come on the back of extensive investment by the NSW Government in a number of facilities across the District, with $120 million being spent redeveloping the Goulburn Health Service, with an upgraded Goulburn Base Hospital as the main element of the project. While $18.6 million is being spent refurbishing Cooma District Hospital, $8 million has been set aside for the Yass District Hospital redevelopment, with funding for the Braidwood MPS redevelopment coming from the $300-million State-wide program of works to upgrade MPS facilities in a number of rural and remote communities across NSW. The 2018-19 budget for Southern NSW Local Health District is over $419 million, an increase of over $16 million on the 2017-18 annualised budget. Between mid-2012 and mid-2018, SNSWLHD has increased its workforce by an additional 440 full time equivalent staff – an increase of 24.9 per cent, including 28 more doctors and 142 more nurses. Queanbeyan District Hospital recorded impressive results in its emergency department performance, with 88.4 per cent of patients spending less than four hours in ED. This is despite 628 more patients presenting to ED, a 13.4 per cent increase. In addition, the median time spent in the ED dropped to two hours and one minute, compared to the State median of two hours and 44 minutes. The median time for patients visiting Goulburn Base Hospital emergency department was two hours 34 minutes, a solid result considering an increase of 8.5 per cent in overall emergency department presentations. Meanwhile, the median time spent waiting for both elective knee and hip replacements dropped by 24 days, with 100 per cent of urgent and semi-urgent surgery performed within the clinically recommended timeframes. In the Eurobodalla, Moruya recorded a healthy ED performance, with 78.7 per cent of patients spending less than four hours in the emergency department, compared to the NSW average of 74 per cent. Batemans Bay Hospital recorded 88.9 per cent, despite a 3.2 per cent rise in presentations. Both sites achieved 100 per cent of patients receiving surgery within the clinically recommended timeframes. Cooma Hospital and Health Service recorded 87.2 per cent of patients spending less than four hours in ED, despite a 7.6 per cent rise in presentations with the median time of one hour 45 minutes, well below the NSW average. South East Regional Hospital (SERH) recorded 74.7 per cent of people spending less than four hours in ED, with the median time of two hours and 29 minutes. Meanwhile, SERH recorded a decrease in median waiting times for general, orthopaedic and gynaecological surgery waiting times, with 100 per cent of urgent cases receiving surgery within the clinically recommended timeframes. “This is an excellent result and my sincere thanks go to all the staff who have worked tirelessly to achieve these results.” 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.
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