Murrumbidgee hospitals perform well in latest healthcare quarterly report

NSW Gov

The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly Report – January to March 2024 shows public hospitals in Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) continued to improve planned surgery wait times and deliver high quality, timely emergency care to the community.

MLHD Chief Executive Ms Jill Ludford thanked staff for their hard work throughout the period, with improvements in planned surgery wait times and excellent results in several emergency department (ED) key performance indicators, despite high demand for emergency care.

“Despite high levels of activity, our emergency departments continued to provide care within timeframes well above the state average,” Ms Ludford said.

“These results are a testament to the hard work of our highly skilled workforce and I commend our teams for the dedication they continue to show to the patients in our care.”

During the first quarter of 2024 there were 40,706 attendances to MLHD emergency departments, an increase of 6.8 per cent, or 2,590 more attendances, compared with the same quarter in 2023.

The upward trend across the most urgent ED presentations continued, with a record 3,741, presentations in Triage category 2 (emergency) – up 11.5 per cent, or 386 presentations, compared with the same quarter in 2023.

Despite this high demand, the vast majority of patients (83.2 per cent) started their treatment on time, which is the best result in the state.

More than seven in 10 patients (73.6 per cent) were able to leave the ED within four hours of arriving, also better than the state average (55.9 per cent), one of the best results in the state.

Almost nine in 10 patients (86.2 per cent) were transferred from paramedics to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time – also significantly better than the state average (78.3 per cent).

All patients are seen and triaged on arrival at the ED and, as always, the most seriously unwell patients are treated first. During busy times, those with less urgent conditions can experience longer wait times when there are large numbers of seriously unwell patients being prioritised for emergency care.

Ms Ludford said Hospital in the Home models are helping to ease pressure on the region’s busy EDs.

“In Wagga we have our Rapid Access Clinic (RAC) which incorporates Hospital in the Home, as well as services to treat lower acuity patients who come to the emergency department or arrive by ambulance,” said Ms Ludford.

“The RAC provides greater flexibility in the way care is delivered for patients who require rapid assessment, diagnosis and intervention, but don’t need to be in an emergency department.”

MLHD continues to remind the community to support us by saving emergency departments and ambulances for saving lives. If an illness or injury is not serious or life-threatening, we encourage people to call Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222, for a 24-hour telephone health advice.

Ms Ludford said the District continues to work hard to ensure patients receive their planned surgery as soon as possible.

“There were 1,862 planned surgeries performed in MLHD hospitals in the January to March 2024 quarter, with all urgent planned surgeries (100 per cent) performed on time.

Wait times for semi-urgent and non-urgent surgeries have also reduced significantly. From January to March 2024, 81.8 per cent of semi-urgent surgeries were performed on time – an improvement of 14.5 percentage points compared with the same quarter last year (67.3 percent). While almost seven in 10 non-urgent planned surgeries (68.9 percent) were performed on time – also an improvement of 26.9 percentage points compared with the same quarter last year (42.0 per cent).

“In 2023 there was a record number of surgeries performed in our district, and it is pleasing to see a substantial reduction in the number of patients waiting longer than recommended for their planned surgery,” Ms Ludford said.

In 12 months, MLHD has reduced the number of patients waiting longer than clinically recommended for a planned surgery by more than 85 per cent. The number of patients waiting longer than clinically recommended for planned surgery at the end of the quarter was 92, compared with 669 patients at the end of March 2023.

INDIVIDUAL HOSPITALS

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital

There were 12,126 emergency department attendances at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in the January – March 2024 quarter, an increase of 3.5 per cent, or 413 attendances, in the same period in 2023.

More than two-thirds of patients (72.1 per cent) started treatment on time – better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (61.7 per cent).

More than eight in 10 patients (81.1 per cent) were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time, which is also better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (75.4 per cent).

During the January to March 2024 quarter 1,436 planned surgery procedures were performed, with all urgent planned surgeries (100 per cent) performed on time. Pleasingly, almost eight in 10 planned surgeries (77.0 per cent) were performed on time overall, an improvement of 23.0 percentage points compared with the same quarter in 2023 (54 per cent).

There were 306 babies born at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital during the quarter.

Griffith Base Hospital

There were 5,729 emergency department attendances at Griffith Base Hospital in the January to March 2024 quarter, 7 per cent higher (375 attendances) than the same period in 2023 (5,354).

Almost all patients arriving by ambulance were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time (95.9 per cent), which is the best result for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (89.4 per cent).

Almost eight in 10 patients (79.1 per cent) started treatment on time, also better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (71.1 per cent).

The majority of patients (72.7 per cent) were able to leave the ED within four hours, also better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (62.5 per cent).

During the January to March 2024 quarter at Griffith Base Hospital there were 269 planned surgeries performed, with all urgent planned surgeries (100 per cent) performed on time.

Throughout the quarter, 126 babies were born at Griffith Base Hospital.

Deniliquin Health Service

There were 2,642 emergency department attendances at Deniliquin Hospital in the January to March 2024 quarter.

Almost all patients (96.7 per cent) started treatment on time, which is the second best result for hospitals of a similar size in NSW, and significantly better than the average for comparable hospitals in NSW (78.1 per cent).

Almost nine in 10 patients (84.6 per cent) were able to leave the ED within four hours of arriving – also better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (77.5 per cent).

Almost all patients (97.0 per cent) were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time, also better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (94.3 per cent).

During the January to March quarter, Deniliquin Health Service completed 28 planned surgeries and 13 babies were born.

Young Health Service

There were 2,571 emergency department attendances at Young Hospital in the January to March 2024 quarter, an increase of 17 per cent, or 374 more attendances, compared with the same quarter in 2023.

More than eight in 10 patients (86.8 per cent) were able to leave the ED within four hours of arriving, which is the third best result for hospitals of a similar size in NSW.

Almost all patients (86.8 per cent) started treatment on time, which is better than the average for hospitals of a similar size in NSW (78.1 per cent).

During the January to March 2024 quarter, Young Health Service completed 80 planned surgeries, with all urgent planned surgery (100 per cent) performed on time, and 22 babies were born.

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