Hospital fails to meet goals

LISMORE Base Hospital was unable to meet all state targets for emergency departments in the Bureau of Health's most recent report into public hospitals.

The Hospital Quarterly report shows Lismore Hospital failed to reach the target for treating 80% of patients with imminently life-threatening injuries (triage 2) within 10 minutes.

Instead, 50% of these patients were seen within seven minutes, with 95% of patients seen within 31minutes.

The statistics cover the busy Christmas period in which emergency departments are under the most pressure.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford said emergency departments across the region performed well when the figures are considered month by month.

"The Emergency Department data for Northern NSW Local Health District in October and November shows all categories were achieved except for cate- gory 3," Mr Crawford said.

The emergency department figures in the month of December were outside expectations, particularly for potentially life-threatening injuries (triage 3).

"The data for December showed that category 2 missed by 1%, category 3 by 8% and category 4 by 2%," Mr Crawford said.

A total of 7252 patients attended Lismore Hospital emergency department across the quarterly period.

Since then Mr Crawford said the health board's own figures show signs of improvement.

"For January and February, the Emergency Department benchmarks for all categories except Triage 3 were achieved and in February Triage 3 was 71%, which just missed the benchmark by 4%," Mr Crawford said.

He said hospital staff worked hard to treat patients within the recommended timeframes.

"It is acknowledged that further work needs to be undertaken to improve some results and this will occur through clinicians and management working together," Mr Crawford added.

"I want to thank our emergency department and surgery staff for their continued hard and dedicated work, which has enabled these generally positive results to be achieved."

In terms of elective surgery, Lismore performed better than average within its peer group for semi-urgent and non-urgent cases and the results were on a par for urgent cases.

Mr Crawford said no hospital within the health district had elective surgery patients waiting over the benchmark time.

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