Grafton Base Hospital emergency department.
Grafton Base Hospital emergency department. Adam Hourigan

Busy times for local emergency departments

IT WAS a busy Christmas season for Clarence Valley hospitals last year, but staff pushed through to maintain standards of treatment.

The figures come from the latest BHI Health Care Quarterly Report for October to December 2017 released yesterday, and it paints a positive light on our health services.

Grafton Base Hospital emergency department had a 5.8per cent increase in the number of presentations compared with the same period in 2016, with 6690 presentations, while Maclean District Hospital had a 7.8per cent increase in emergency presentations, with 3304 using the facility.

Maclean District Hospital showed a greater efficiency than the same period last year for the presentations, with 75.9per cent of patients starting treatment on time, with the median time for patients leaving the ED measured at one hour and 48 minutes, eight minutes less than the same period last year.

Grafton Hospital showed only a slight drop in treatment time statistics, with 76.3per cent of patients starting treatment on time, a drop of three percentage points, while the median time for patients to leave the ED was two hours and three minutes.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones praised the results of the report.

"Our Emergency Departments continue to perform well, despite increasing numbers of patients through our doors. It's a testament to the skills and commitment of our staff that they continue to deliver high levels of patient care for people in our communities,” he said.

NNSWLHD saw 4.9per cent more emergency department presentations this quarter compared to the same quarter in 2016, but 5.7per cent fewer hospital admissions from EDs.

Over half of hospitals in the LHD saw increases of more than 5per cent in the number of ED presentations compared with 2016, with several having increases of more than 10per cent. Across the LHD, the percentage of patients with a transfer time from ambulance to the Emergency Department within 30 minutes increased to 90.9per cent.