Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) Emergency Departments (EDs) performed well in the July to September 2020 quarter while continuing the local COVID-19 response.
The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) quarterly report shows 24,356 people presented to the District’s EDs from July to September 2020, a decrease of 17.1 per cent or 5017 people compared to the same period in 2019.
Chief Executive of SNSWLHD, Margaret Bennett, said despite the drop in presentations, clinicians have been kept busy with COVID-19. A total of 38,724 COVID-19 tests were completed across the District in both inpatient and outpatient settings during that period alone.
“All our staff are doing a wonderful job providing the best quality patient care during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the District performed better than the statewide results, with urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent surgery procedures all performing ahead of the state average,” Ms Bennett said.
“The most urgent patients in our emergency departments were treated more quickly and, importantly, 100 per cent of urgent surgeries were performed on time.
“We saw 82.3 per cent of patients leave the ED within four hours, a 1.8 percentage point improvement on the same quarter in 2019, and better than the NSW state average of 71.5 per cent.
“More than 93 per cent of patients were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark,” she said.
Ms Bennett said the figures come on the back of extensive investment by the NSW Government in a number of facilities across the District, including the $150 million Goulburn Hospital and Health Service redevelopment, with an upgraded Goulburn Base Hospital as the main element of the project.
Furthermore, $18.6 million is being spent redeveloping Cooma Hospital, and $200 million has been committed to building a new health facility in Eurobodalla.
A total of $8 million spent on the Yass Hospital redevelopment, with funding for the Braidwood Multipurpose Service (MPS) redevelopment coming from the $300 million state-wide program of works to upgrade MPS facilities in a number of rural and remote communities across NSW.
At Crookwell District Hospital, $2.5 million has been committed for refurbishment works.
In the 2020-21 budget, the NSW Government has invested an extra $458.5 million to fast-track elective surgeries which were delayed as a result of the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring patients will be booked
in to public or private hospitals as soon as possible.
Since March 2020, the NSW Government has committed more than $3.0 billion to help transform the healthcare system to increase its capacity and ensure it is well placed to manage the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and respond to any future crises. This funding has helped bring the 2020-21 Health budget to $29.3 billion.
Batemans Bay District Hospital
Batemans Bay District Hospital had 2752 ED presentations, down 25 per cent, or 916 fewer people compared with the same quarter in 2019. The proportion of patients leaving the ED within four hours was 83.1 per cent, ahead of the state target of 81 per cent, while the median time to leave the ED was one hour 50 minutes, well ahead of the NSW median of 2 hours 42 minutes.
Elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per cent of the 123 elective surgery procedures being completed on time.
Moruya District Hospital
Moruya District Hospital had more than 2300 ED attendances, down by nearly 16 per cent, or 433 fewer presentations, and recorded a consistent ED performance, with 75.2 per cent of patients leaving the ED within four hours (the same result as the same quarter of 2019). Meanwhile, the median time to leave the ED was two hours 30 minutes, ahead of the NSW median.
Elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per cent of the 223 elective surgery procedures being completed on time.
Goulburn Base Hospital
Like other hospitals across the district, Goulburn Base Hospital ED experienced a decrease of 16.5 per cent or 835 presentations down to 4228 compared to the same period in 2019. During the quarter, 72.9 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, ahead of the state average.
All patients who were admitted for urgent elective surgery had their procedures performed on time.
Like other hospitals across the district, Cooma Hospital recorded a decrease in ED presentations down to 2502 presentations over the quarter, a drop of 21.7 per cent or 694 presentations, compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Cooma Hospital was above the state target and peer group results in ED performance, with 85.5 per cent of patients leaving the ED within four hours of presentation. This is an improvement of 3.7 percentage points.
Elective surgery performance at the hospital was relatively strong, with more than 93 per cent of elective surgery performed on time during the quarter which was ahead of the state and peer group averages Queanbeyan Hospital
Like other hospitals across the district, Queanbeyan Hospital recorded a 13.1 per cent decrease in ED presentations, down to 5316 or 802 fewer patients, compared to the same quarter in 2019. A total of 87 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours, an improvement of 4.5 percentage points and ahead of the state target and the peer group average.
Elective surgery performance at the hospital remained strong, with 100 per cent of urgent surgery performed on time, and performance across all categories was above the state and peer group average.
South East Regional Hospital
South East Regional Hospital (SERH) experienced a 9.9 per cent decrease in emergency presentations, down 481 to 4,383 compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Performance in the emergency department improved, with 79.7 per cent of people leaving the ED within four hours, to be ahead of the state and peer group average.
Urgent elective surgery performance at the hospital remained steady, with 100 per cent of urgent surgery performed on time.
The 2019-20 budget for Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSWLHD) is almost $434 million. This is an increase of nearly $13 million on the previous financial year’s budget.
Between mid-2012 and mid-2019, the Southern New South Wales Local Health District increased its workforce by an additional 467 full time equivalent staff - an increase of 26.4 per cent including 49 more doctors, 158 more nurses and midwives, and 68 more allied health staff.