Keryn Clapham, of New Italy, is upset her 15-year-old son was sent home with a badly broken toe, despite waiting for over five hours in the Lismore Base Hospital A&E; department to receive treatment.
Keryn Clapham, of New Italy, is upset her 15-year-old son was sent home with a badly broken toe, despite waiting for over five hours in the Lismore Base Hospital A&E; department to receive treatment. David Nielsen

Lismore hospital among worst

AFTER a gruelling five-and-a-half-hour wait at Lismore Base Hospital’s chaotic accident and emergency department on Monday, Keryn Clapham’s faith in our hospital system is dwindling.

Nursing her son Jackson, 15, with a severely broken toe, they were forced to wait until late on Monday night, only to be told by hospital staff to go home and return in the morning.

“After we’d waited for over five hours they simply said to come back at 7am,” Ms Clapham, of New Italy, said.

Jackson, who underwent surgery yesterday, was in immense pain during his ordeal.

“They gave him Panadeine Forte in the waiting room, but he ended up having a pretty rough night,” she said.

Ms Clapham did not blame the emergency staff, but believes the State’s hospital system is seriously flawed.

“The staff was run off their feet in there. The problem is there aren’t enough people,” she said.

The State Government’s latest hospital report card confirms Ms Clapham’s experience. According to the report, emergency waiting times at Lismore Base Hospital are among the worst in the State.

Figures released on Monday show Lismore ranked second last for potentially life-threatening and potentially serious presentations against the State’s 11 other base hospitals, and third last for imminently life-threatening presentations.

North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford blamed the implementation of a new data recording system for the poor results in Lismore.

“I know it’s not a satisfactory situation, but we should have it bedded in by the middle of the year,” he said.

Meanwhile, shadow health minister Jillian Skinner has accused the Government of failing NSW families and blamed Labor’s cuts to frontline services.

The North Coast Area Health Service has spent the last 18 months cutting 400 positions across the area.

“Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt must explain what impact the nurse redundancy program has been having on Lismore Hospital and how it contributed to this poor result,” Ms Skinner said.

“Labor’s cuts to frontline healthcare is the reason Lismore Hospital is struggling to meet emergency performance targets.

“A score of 58 per cent on Triage 3 category patients means nearly half of those people with an imminently life threatening condition were not seen within the benchmark times – Labor’s cuts are starting to bite.”



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