The latest Bureau of Health Information compares the July to September period this year to the same period last year.
The latest Bureau of Health Information compares the July to September period this year to the same period last year. Trevor Veale

Babies down, ambo transfer times steady at Coffs

BABIES born at Coffs Harbour Health Campus are down 17.3 per cent and the time taken to transfer patients from an ambulance to the Emergency Department has remained stable.

These are just some of the statistics revealed in the latest Bureau of Health Information report which compares the July to September period this year to the same period last year.

At Coffs Harbour the median time taken to transfer a patient from an ambulance to the Emergency Department (ED) in the July to September quarter was 12 minutes - which is the same as the 2017 July to September period.

The median time taken to leave the ED for the quarter was 2hr 43mins - down from 3hr 05mins for the same quarter last year.

There were 9,945 presentations at the Coffs ED with 2,521 arriving by ambulance.

The majority of patients (3,777) were assessed to be semi-urgent with other categories listed as urgent (3,303 patients) and non-urgent (1,160). There were 3,406 admissions to hospital from the ED.

Patients admitted for mental health issues had the longest average length of stay at 18.6 nights with the next being non-acute patients who stayed an average of 6.4 nights.

There were 268 babies born during the July to September quarter this year compared to 324 during the same period last year.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick says that across the region public hospitals have continued to improve across several key areas of Emergency Department and elective surgery performance.

Mr Dowrick said 77 per cent, or 22,790, of patients left EDs across the district within four hours of arriving in the July to September quarter, an improvement of 1.4 percentage points, or 1,023 people, compared with last winter, according to the latest

"We have also seen improvement in the percentage of patients being transferred from the care of an ambulance to the Emergency Department within the 30-minute benchmark, up almost two percentage points to 88.9 or 5,919 patients, which is 165 more patients compared with last year," he said.

The smaller district hospitals have continued to perform well with both Macksville and Kempsey Hospitals improving or remaining stable across all triage categories.

"We acknowledge the hard work of our clinicians and multi-disciplinary teams in improving waiting times for patients visiting our emergency departments," Mr Dowrick said.

Mr Dowrick said the BHI Healthcare Quarterly also reports on elective surgery performance across the district. The MNCLHD continues to make very effective use of its Network operations between its larger base hospitals and smaller district facilities.

"Again, our smaller hospitals have continued to assist the larger sites by taking on an increased volume of day surgical procedures such as colonoscopies and cataract surgery. This allows our larger hospitals more complex surgery such as major orthopaedic and urological procedures," he said.

Between June 2012 and June 2018 MNCLHD has increased its workforce by an additional 686 full time equivalent staff - an increase of more than 25 per cent including 88 more doctors and 306 more nurses.

The 2018-19 budget for MNCLHD is more than $634 million, an increase of nearly $28 million on the 2017-18 annualised budget.



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