Coffs Harbour Hospital.
Coffs Harbour Hospital. Trevor Veale

REVEALED: How long you can expect to wait for hospital care

THERE'S been a slight increase in the proportion of emergency patients starting treatment on time at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

The 3.7 per cent increase, compared to the same January to March quarter last year, was outlined in the recent Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly.

The Port Macquarie Base Hospital fared better with a 6.6 per cent increase.

Both sites have also seen a higher proportion of patients leaving the emergency department within four hours of presentation (a 4.3 per cent improvement for Port and nearly one per cent for Coffs).

The independent quarterly BHI figures also measure patient satisfaction and for Coffs Harbour some of the lowest rates were in relation to maternity care:

  • 53 % of women rated care after their baby was born as 'very good'
  • 80 % said they 'always' had confidence and trust in the midwives or doctors
  • 70 % rated the care during labour and birth as 'very good'

Some of the higher rates of satisfaction at Coffs harbour Health Campus were related to admitted children and young patients:

  • 87 % said nurses were 'always' kind and caring
  • 84 % said health professionals 'always' explained things in an understandable way
  • 86 % said the care and treatment 'definitely' helped

Satisfaction rates in relation to the emergency department at Coffs Harbour Health Campus were as follows:

  • 65 % would 'speak highly' of their experience at the ED to friends and family
  • 70 % said they were 'definitely' involved, as much as they wanted to be, in decisions about their care
  • 60 % said the care and treatment 'definitely' helped them

The quarterly report also lists statistics on elective surgery and according to Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) Acting Chief Executive Kathleen Ryan it shows that our district continues to make very effective use of network operations between its larger base hospitals and smaller district facilities.

"Our smaller hospitals at Kempsey and Macksville have continued to support our clinical networks by completing 100 per cent of their elective surgery procedures on time,” Ms Ryan 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.

Across the state the early start to the flu season is having an obvious impact with more than 750,000 patients presenting to emergency departments during January to March 2019.

NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce said this was an increase of around 42,000 people, a 5.9 per cent increase from the same quarter in 2018 and higher than any previous quarter on record.

"While many people will remember the 2017 winter, our worst flu season on record, we saw thousands more patients this quarter, and these figures do not even show the full winter months,” Ms Pearce said.

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