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Western NSW public hospitals maintain performance through challenging quarter

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  • Western NSW public hospitals maintain performance through challenging quarter

09 December 2022

The latest Bureau of Health Information Healthcare Quarterly report shows hospitals in Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) continued to deliver high-quality care from July to September 2022, despite significant challenges presented by COVID-19, influenza and other winter illnesses.

The report reflects another busy period of complex presentations and admissions to our hospitals and significant numbers of staff furloughed due to illness.

WNSWLHD Chief Executive Mr Mark Spittal thanked the District’s staff who worked exceptionally hard to deliver high-quality care in demanding circumstances.

“We experienced sustained high demand, but also many of our staff were unavailable as they were impacted by exposure to COVID-19. This placed immense pressure on our entire system,” Mr Spittal said.

“We are immensely proud of, and grateful for our staff’s continued dedication and also their adaptability in a constantly changing situation. Despite the challenges, our District performed better than the state-wide average and our facilities performed better than comparable hospitals in a number of key measures.”

Across the District, there were 50,337 attendances to emergency departments in the third quarter of 2022. Of these 28,797 were non-urgent (Triage Four and Five) cases.

Almost eight in 10 patients (78 per cent) started their treatment on time, which is significantly better than the state average (65.6 per cent).

Almost seven in 10 patients (69.8 per cent) left the ED within four hours of arriving, compared with the state average of 57.4 per cent.

More than eight in 10 patients (81.8 per cent) were transferred from paramedics to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark, also better than the state average of 74.8 per cent.

The staged resumption of elective surgeries continued this quarter and the District continues to work incredibly hard to ensure patients requiring elective surgery procedures receive them as soon as possible.

WNSWLHD performed 2,842 elective surgeries during the July to September 2022 quarter, with all urgent elective surgeries (100 per cent) performed on time. The percentage of surgeries performed on time was better than the NSW average in all categories.

Any patients who feel their condition has deteriorated while waiting for their procedure are encouraged to contact their treating doctor for a clinical review and they can be placed in a higher urgency category if required.

Between mid-2012 and mid-2022 the Western New South Wales Local Health District increased its workforce by an additional 701 full time equivalent staff – an increase of 14.6% including 136 more doctors, 216 more nurses and midwives, and 143 more allied health staff.

The NSW Government is investing a record $33 billion in health as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget, including almost $900 million for the ongoing COVID-19 response.

The NSW Government also announced the largest workforce boost in the nation’s history in the 2022-23 Budget with a $4.5 billion investment over four years for 10,148 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff to hospitals and health services across NSW.

In addition, the NSW Government is incentivising hard-to-fill, critical roles in hospitals and health facilities with an $883 million investment targeted at recruiting and retaining staff in regional, rural and remote areas.