Batemans Bay and Moruya District hospitals will benefit from a reallocation of a doctor to their Emergency Departments (ED) from the beginning of February.
The move follows a trial of the Fast Track Clinic model at Batemans Bay Hospital, where a General Practitioner treated semi-urgent and non-urgent patients from Batemans Bay and Moruya EDs. The clinic was open for 10 hours each day. Apart from occasional days during the peak holiday period, the clinic did not reach full capacity. As the clinic was required to be separate from the EDs, the Fast Track doctor was not able to help out in an ED when the clinic was quiet or when an ED required additional support. “Returning the doctor hours back into the ED provides more flexibility in meeting the demand for higher acuity patients, particularly during busy periods,” Eurobodalla Health Service General Manager Lisa Kennedy said. “The Fast Track Clinic trial began in 2016 and typically dealt with less urgent conditions such as earaches, rashes and minor aches and pains, which are better treated by seeing a regular GP at their practice. “Therefore it makes sense to close the clinic at the end of January, enabling us to fund additional doctor hours in the EDs to improve the timeliness and quality of care.” Eighty six per cent of patients spend fewer than four hours in the Batemans Bay ED, despite an eight per cent rise in presentations compared to the same period last year*. The median time spent in the Batemans Bay ED dropped to 57 minutes (reduction of seven minutes from same quarter last year). The median time patients spent at Moruya District Hospital ED is two hours and 24 minutes, which is below the state median of two hours and 52 minutes*. The NSW Government has been investing in many facilities across the District, with $150 million committed to a new Eurobodalla Hospital late last year. Between mid-2012 and mid-2018, SNSWLHD has increased its workforce by an additional 440 full time equivalent staff – or 24.9 per cent - including 28 more doctors and 142 extra nurses. To find a GP in your area, please visit https://healthengine.com.au/ or call the GP Helpline on 1800 022 222. In case of an emergency, call NSW Ambulance on 000. *Figures from Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Quarterly Performance (Sept-Dec 2018) Emergency Department Report.