Southern NSW Local Health District top performer in latest healthcare quarterly report


Southern NSW Local Health District’s planned surgery and emergency department performance was one of the best in NSW according to the latest Bureau of Health Information Healthcare Quarterly report (July to September 2023).

SNSWLHD Chief Executive, Margaret Bennett, said the District performed 1,362 planned surgeries during the third quarter of 2023, despite high demand for emergency care.

“The District continues to work hard to ensure patients requiring planned surgery receive their procedures as soon as possible following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Bennett said.

“Southern NSW LHD had one of the best results in the state for the percentage of planned surgeries performed on time, with 99.8 per cent of patients receiving their planned surgery on time, an 8.5 percentage points increase compared with the same quarter last year.

“Any patients who feel their condition may have deteriorated while waiting for their surgery is encouraged to contact their treating doctor who can review their condition and place them in a higher urgency category if appropriate.”

SNSWLHD was also among the state’s top performers for ED key indicators including the time to start treatment (80.9 per cent), the percentage of patients leaving the EDs within four hours (75.8 percent), and the time to transfer of care from ambulance to hospital staff (94.5 per cent).

From July to September 2023, there were 29,892 attendances to EDs across SNSWLHD, which is a 7.5 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. More than half of presentations to the EDs were in the semi-urgent (triage 4) and non-urgent (triage 5) categories.

More than 8 in 10 patients started treatment on time (80.9 per cent), which is significantly better than the NSW average (67 per cent). The majority of patients also left the ED within four hours of arriving (75.8 percent), better than the NSW average (56.6 per cent).

Almost all patients (94.5 per cent) were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time, which is better than the NSW average (77 per cent).

“I am proud of our staff for implementing and maintaining a range of improvement strategies to achieve these impressive results,” Ms Bennett said.

“Strategies include daily huddles across all facilities, ongoing ED education programs to strengthen nursing triage protocols, regular reviews of clerical processes and systems and management of discharges and delays.

“The most important outcome of this work is that patients in Southern NSW are given the very best care.”

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 will experience longer wait times when there are large numbers of seriously unwell patients being prioritised for emergency care.

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