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) improved in a number of key planned surgery and emergency department (ED) performance measures despite increasingly high demand for hospital care.

A drone photo from the sky of Forbes Hospital

Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Chief Executive, thanked staff for their commitment and dedication to delivering high-quality care to communities throughout another busy period in July to September 2023.

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

“These results are testament to the hard work of our healthcare workers. I am incredibly grateful for their commitment and want to thank all of our dedicated staff who continue to perform exceptionally in these challenging and busy times.”

Throughout the third quarter of 2023, there were 52,368 attendances to the District’s EDs, which was an increase of 2,053 attendances when compared to the same quarter of 2022.

More than 30,000 presentations were in the semi-urgent (triage four) and non-urgent (triage five) categories, with a 13.4 per cent increase in non-urgent presentations compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

More than eight in 10 patients (81.3 per cent) started their treatment on time, which was significantly better than the state average. Additionally, the number of patients starting treatment on time was significantly higher than the NSW average in all triage categories.

Pleasingly, the majority of patients (80.6 per cent) were transferred from paramedics to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark, which was also better than the state average (77 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.

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

There were 2,811 planned surgeries performed across the District during the July to September 2023 quarter and 84.5 per cent of those were performed on time, which was higher than the same quarter in 2022 and the NSW average. Almost all urgent planned surgeries (99.6 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 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.

There were 868 babies born during the third quarter of 2023.

For more information and individual hospitals results from the July to September 2023 quarter, visit the BHI website.

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