Western Sydney residents are reminded that emergency departments are for emergencies only, following a surge in hospital visits in 2019.
Emergency department presentations increased by 6.8 per cent across Western Sydney Local Health District from January-March 2019, compared to the same quarter in 2018.
Despite the increasing demand, the latest Bureau of Health Information report highlighted several achievements across Western Sydney LHD:
- 100% of triage one patients treated within the required time at Westmead Hospital
- 98.5% of patients had elective surgery performed in time
- 72% of Blacktown Hospital emergency department patients began treatment in the required timeframe
- 93.7% of ambulance arrivals at Mount Druitt Hospital were transferred within 30 minutes, despite a record 28% rise in arrivals
WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy thanked the district’s hardworking staff and congratulated them for their achievements during the busy period.
“Despite the increase in presentations, most patients still started their treatment on time and left within four hours of entering the emergency department,” Graeme said.
“Blacktown Hospital in particular has seen a seven per cent improvement in patients starting treatment on time, despite a nearly 10 per cent increase in presentations. These and other achievements are commendable and ought to be appreciated.”
The achievement at Blacktown Hospital was made possible by a department redesign to improve the triage, discharge and admissions process. An early treatment zone has also been set up so patients arriving by ambulance can commence treatment faster.
Auburn Hospital this week introduced a fast-track service to assist the timely care and discharge of patients presenting with less serious illnesses and injuries.
While Westmead Hospital eagerly awaits the $1 billion redevelopment which includes a brand new emergency department, the introduction of a triage nurse this month has helped manage the rise in presentations.
The highest rise in emergency department presentations across the district was in triage category four, semi-urgent presentations, which rose by 18.5 per cent.
Category four covers less severe symptoms or injuries such as a foreign body in the eye, sprained ankle, migraine or earache.
Patients with less urgent conditions such as minor illnesses, rashes, aches and pains are encouraged to visit their GP.
They can also phone healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222. This is a free telephone advice line staffed by registered nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.