Ambulatory and community based care is playing a key role in meeting the health needs of the Wellington community.
Wellington Health Service provides a range of services for people as day attendees from the former Emergency Department (ED) section of the hospital, which was made vacant following a major upgrade and relocation of the ED in September last year.
The types of conditions which can be treated in ambulatory health settings include chronic heart disease, chronic lung diseases, diabetes, dehydration from gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, dental conditions, asthma and a number of other simple infections of the skin or the ear, nose and throat.
Wellington Health Service Manager Narelle Ford said that these services mean people do not have to be unnecessarily admitted as inpatients, which benefits them and takes pressure off hospital beds which are needed to be made available for complex and acute conditions.
“It’s much better for patients with less complicated illnesses to be treated in a clinic rather than needing to stay in hospital,” she said.
“Bringing patients into hospitals unnecessarily for simple conditions is usually not in their best interest, as it takes patients away from their family support, removes them from the comfort of their own homes, doesn’t improve their recovery and can expose them to some of the unnecessary risks associated with hospitalisation such as infection and falls in the elderly”.
“We have a highly skilled community team that has the capacity and training to treat patients without the need to admit them to the hospital,” Narelle said.
“It’s also good to put the space made available when our ED was refurbished to effective use for ambulatory care”.
Increased ambulatory care and new community based models of care are a focus of the Western NSW Local Health District’s Strategic Health Services Plan 2013-16 to ensure improved access and equity for patients, and a secure and sustainable future for the Health District.