PEAK HOUR: Ambulances queue outside Lismore Base Hospital.
PEAK HOUR: Ambulances queue outside Lismore Base Hospital. Dominic Feain

Casino hospital figures shows benefits of ward beds

CASINO Hospital's good performance in the latest round of official figures shows the benefits of having enough beds outside the emergency department, a senior doctor has said.

While Lismore Base Hospital dramatically failed to meet the National Emergency Access Target, which requires hospitals to treat 71% of emergency patients within four hours, Casino just as dramatically trumped it.

According to Bureau of Health Information figures, between April and June Lismore Base's troubled emergency department was able to get through only 54% of patients within four hours, while Casino's was able to get through 91% of its patients over the same period.

Lismore Base Hospital Medical Staff Council spokesman Dr Chris Ingall chalked Casino's good result to the fact there were more beds available at Casino Hospital to move patients out of the emergency department and into the ward.

The continued overloading of ward beds at Lismore Base has been pointed to as a flaw in plans to replace the hospital's emergency department, with doctors warning bed block and slow treatment times would continue so long as there were no ward beds to move patients to.

The Medical Staff Council has said Lismore Base needs at least 100 new beds outside of the emergency department. 

"Because there is a bed block at Lismore Base, there is nowhere for the existing patients in emergency to go when new patients come in," Dr Ingall said.

Number crunching

Lismore Base Hospital by numbers from April to June:

  • Number of emergency department attendances: 6976
  • Number of emergency triage cases: 645
  • Number of non-urgent triage cases: 680
  • Number of minutes until 95% of emergency triage patients started treatment: 18 minutes
  • Number of patients treated and discharged: 4106
  • Number of patients treated and admitted to hospital: 2601
  • Number of patients who left the emergency department before receiving treatment: 36
  • Number of patients transferred to another hospital: 36


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