Western NSW public hospitals improve performance through busy quarter


The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly report shows Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) improving in both planned surgery and emergency department (ED) performance despite increasing demand for hospital care.

Bathurst Health Service's main entrance

Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Chief Executive, has once again thanked staff for their commitment and dedication to delivering high-quality care to communities throughout another busy period in October to December 2023.

“This report shows our District has improved across a range of key performance measures when compared with the same quarter in 2022, including time to start ED treatment,” Mr Spittal said.

“These results are a testament to the hard work of our healthcare workers, I remain incredibly grateful for their commitment and want to thank all of our dedicated staff.”

During the final quarter of 2023, there were 53,608 attendances to the District’s EDs, an increase of 3.4 per cent, or 1,753 more attendances, compared with the same quarter in 2022.

More than 30,000 presentations were in the semi-urgent (triage four) and non-urgent (triage five) categories, a 5.4 per cent increase in non-urgent presentations compared with the same quarter in 2022.

More than eight in 10 patients (81.5 per cent) started their treatment on time, which is higher than the NSW average (68.3 per cent).

Pleasingly, the majority of patients (84 per cent) were transferred from paramedics to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark, which is better than the NSW average (79.9 per cent), and an improvement of 1.8 percentage points.

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.

The District continues to work incredibly hard to ensure patients requiring planned surgery receive their procedures as soon as possible.

There were 2,805 planned surgeries performed across the District during the October to December 2023 quarter, a 9.7 percentage point increase, or 248 additional surgeries, compared with the same quarter in 2022. Nearly nine in ten patients (88.4 per cent) had their planned surgery performed on time, a six percentage points improvement compared with the same quarter in 2022. Almost all urgent planned surgeries (99.8 per cent) were performed on time.

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

The District also continues to ask the community for their support 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.

There were 811 babies born during the final quarter of 2023.

More information and data related to individual hospitals across the District can be found on the BHI website.

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