Mid North Coast district performs well in latest healthcare quarterly report

File photo.
File photo.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District has again performed well in the latest Bureau of Health Information Healthcare Quarterly report, recording improvement across several key areas of emergency department and elective surgery performance.

MNCLHD Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said from April to June 2018, 30,382 people attended Emergency Departments at public hospitals across the district (Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Macksville and Coffs Harbour), 517 more than the same time last year.

“An important priority for our Local Health District is to reduce the time people spend in the Emergency Department and the latest Hospital Quarterly report shows that 77.5 per cent of patients left EDs across the district within four hours of arriving,” Mr Dowrick said.

“This quarter, the average time it took for a patient to be transferred from the care of paramedics to emergency department staff was 11 minutes.

“We saw 90.4 per cent of patients who arrived at Mid North Coast public hospitals by ambulance transferred to the Emergency Department within the 30-minute benchmark.

“We will continue to work closely with clinicians to improve waiting times for patients visiting our emergency departments.”

The 2018-19 budget for MNCLHD is over $634 million, an increase of nearly $28 million on the 2017-18 annualised budget.

Between June 2012 and June 2018 MNCLHD increased its workforce by an additional 686 full time equivalent staff – an increase of over 25 per cent, including 88 more doctors and 306 more nurses.

Mr Dowrick said while less urgent presentations to our emergency departments have declined compared to last year there are still patients coming to hospital emergency departments for non-emergency reasons who could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing services such as their General Practitioner or local pharmacy.

Coffs Harbour Health Campus saw an increase of 125, or 1.3 per cent, in Emergency Department presentations and strategies have been put in place to improve patient treatment time including the addition of a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department and a weekend physiotherapist during the winter months.

Staff are also monitoring weekend discharge rates and adherence to the direct admission policy to improve the time to move patients to the hospital ward.

Port Macquarie Base Hospital saw a slight decrease of 85, or one per cent, in Emergency Department presentations, and has focused on improving patient flow and patient safety using the NSW Health resources.

Mr Dowrick said the BHI Healthcare Quarterly also reports on elective surgery performance across the district. The MNCLHD continues to make very effective use of its Network operations between its larger base hospitals and smaller district facilities.

“The Local Health District provided elective surgical services to 2,777 patients in the April to June 2018 quarter, with 99.1 per cent of procedures performed within the clinically recommended timeframes, up by 1.7 percentage points.”

In 2018-19 the NSW Government is investing a record $22.9 billion in health, representing a $1.1 billion increase over the 2017-18 Budget. This includes $19.2 billion towards improving services in hospitals in NSW this year.

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