Lismore Base Hospital
Lismore Base Hospital Marc Stapelberg

Emergency presentations at hospital increased by 8.7%

FRIDAY 10am: NEW health data has revealed that more than half of patients that are treated at Lismore Base Hospital ED spent four hours or less in the department, which is a 3.1% improvement on last year's performance.

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) are pleased with the BHI report card, as it reflected Lismore Base Hospital has maintained and improved services to patients on last year's figures.

NNSW LHD Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, said emergency presentations at Lismore Base Hospital have increased by 8.7%, with 76.4% of patients receiving treatment on time.

The timeliness of transfer of care for patients arriving by ambulance has also improved by 9.7 percentage points this quarter.

"These figures show that the improved models of care implemented in emergency departments have contributed to a reduction in patient waiting times and increased efficiency in assessing and treating patients," Ms Weir said.

"The current processes for receiving patients arriving by ambulance are working well, and the NNSWLHD will continue to ensure measures are in place to effectively manage ambulance arrivals."

"The NNSWLHD is always looking for ways to improve services within our facilities, and concentrating on patient flow and the introduction of new models of care enables us to continue delivering high quality patient care through the effective use of emergency department resources."


FRIDAY 5.30am: HEALTH Unions have called for more staff at public hospitals in light of a report released yesterday from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI).

The report reflected on how the State's public hospitals and ambulance services performed in the January to March.

BHI has introduced a new patient-centred measure 'call to ambulance arrival time' to reflect the time from when a Triple Zero (000) call is answered to when a paramedic arrives.

94.7% of priority category one patients (emergency cases) had a call to ambulance arrival time within 30 minutes.

Report data revealed that out of the 3496 patients at Lismore Base Hospital, 848 were defined as immediate emergency patients.

According to the statistics these patients received treatment at a median time of six minutes, which is two minutes faster than the state average.

While Casino and District Memorial Hospital sits on seven minutes and Ballina District Hospital is right on the state average of 8 minutes.

BHI acting chief executive, Dr Kim Sutherland, said these statistics show NSW public hospitals have maintained performance on waiting times as the volume of services provided have increased.

"Hospitals have been busy and seen more emergency department patients, more admissions and have performed more elective surgeries than in any other January to March quarter," Dr Sutherland said.

NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association have discussed strategies for closing the gap in emergency response times. Lismore Base Hospital Branch Manager, Gil Wilson, said increased staffing is the way forward in improving services to patients.

"It's wonderful to have a shiny new department with all the bells and whistles, however the issue is we've gone from playing on the size of a tennis court to now having to play on the size of a basketball court," Mr Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said he believes it would take one nurse to every three patients to make emergency services more efficient.

Secretary for the Health Services Union (HSU), Gerard Hayes said emergency departments experienced a huge strain because there weren't enough resources and staff across the board to meet patient needs.

"We need more resources (and) more staff in to be able to make sure that patients are cared for in a timely manner and also in a manner where they're not stuck in ED for days on end," Mr Hayes said.

"I think we need a greater commitment to mental health on the Northern Rivers, it is overstretched when we cannot give patients the proper care that they need when they're being stuck in ED."

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