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Hospitals cope with Covid demands

Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) Emergency Departments (EDs)

performed well in the July to September 2020 quarter while continuing the local

COVID-19 response.

The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) quarterly report shows 24,356 people

presented to the District’s EDs from July to September 2020, a decrease of 17.1 per

cent or 5017 people compared to the same period in 2019.

Chief Executive of SNSWLHD, Margaret Bennett, said despite the drop in

presentations, clinicians have been kept busy with COVID-19. A total of 38,724

COVID-19 tests were completed across the District in both inpatient and outpatient

settings during that period alone.

“All our staff are doing a wonderful job providing the best quality patient care during

this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the District performed better

than the statewide results, with urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent surgery

procedures all performing ahead of the state average,” Ms Bennett said.

“The most urgent patients in our emergency departments were treated more quickly

and, importantly, 100 per cent of urgent surgeries were performed on time.

“We saw 82.3 per cent of patients leave the ED within four hours, a 1.8 percentage

point improvement on the same quarter in 2019, and better than the NSW state

average of 71.5 per cent.

“More than 93 per cent of patients were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within

the 30-minute benchmark,” she said.

Ms Bennett said the figures come on the back of extensive investment by the NSW

Government in a number of facilities across the District, including the $150 million

Goulburn Hospital and Health Service redevelopment, with an upgraded Goulburn

Base Hospital as the main element of the project.

Furthermore, $18.6 million is being spent redeveloping Cooma Hospital, and $200

million has been committed to building a new health facility in Eurobodalla.

A total of $8 million spent on the Yass Hospital redevelopment, with funding for the

Braidwood Multipurpose Service (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.

Since March 2020, the NSW Government has committed more than $3.0 billion to help

transform the healthcare system to increase its capacity and ensure it is well placed to

manage the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and respond to any future crises. This

funding has helped bring the 2020-21 Health budget to $29.3 billion.

Individual Hospital Results

Batemans Bay District Hospital

Batemans Bay District Hospital had 2752 ED presentations, down 25 per cent, or

916 fewer people compared with the same quarter in 2019. The proportion of patients

leaving the ED within four hours was 83.1 per cent, ahead of the state target of 81 per

cent, while the median time to leave the ED was one hour 50 minutes, well ahead of

the NSW median of 2 hours 42 minutes.

Elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per cent of

the 123 elective surgery procedures being completed on time.

Moruya District Hospital

Moruya District Hospital had more than 2300 ED attendances, down by nearly 16

per cent, or 433 fewer presentations, and recorded a consistent ED performance,

with 75.2 per cent of patients leaving the ED within four hours (the same result as the

same quarter of 2019). Meanwhile, the median time to leave the ED was two hours

30 minutes, ahead of the NSW median.

Elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per cent of

the 223 elective surgery procedures being completed on time.

South East Regional Hospital

South East Regional Hospital (SERH) experienced a 9.9 per cent decrease in

emergency presentations, down 481 to 4,383 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Performance in the emergency department improved, with 79.7 per cent of people

leaving the ED within four hours, to be ahead of the state and peer group average.

Urgent elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per

cent of urgent surgery performed on time.

The 2019-20 budget for Southern New South Wales Local Health District

(SNSWLHD) is almost $434 million. This is an increase of nearly $13 million on the

previous financial year’s budget.

Between mid-2012 and mid-2019, the Southern New South Wales Local Health

District increased its workforce by an additional 467 full time equivalent staff - an

increase of 26.4 per cent including 49 more doctors, 158 more nurses and midwives,

and 68 more allied health staff.

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