Today’s release of January 2019 performance data has revealed a strong start of the year for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service despite the pressure of nearly 11,000 emergency patients and more than 400 elective surgery patients being treated during the month.
WBHHS continues to lead the way in elective surgery, with only one of the 437 patients it treated during January waiting beyond the clinically-recommended waiting time.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said the strong elective surgery performance had continued since mid-2014 when the WBHHS first started to consistently meet 100% of its targets across all three categories.
“Our elective surgery patients have the reassurance that when they need treatment they will receive it within the clinically-recommended time,” Mr Pennington said.
“Our performance in elective surgery has proven sustainable since 2014 thanks to the hard work of our theatre teams who have continued to do an outstanding job.
“It’s only a rare exception for a patient not to be treated within their clinically-recommended time, usually due to an unexpected, yet necessary, rescheduling from either the patient or their specialist.”
WBHHS also continues to perform strongly in emergency department waiting times, despite ever-escalating patient demand.
Compared to January the previous year, the January 2019 data shows an 11% increase in overall patient presentations across WBHHS emergency departments.
“The increased numbers presenting through our emergency department doors presents a challenge to our teams, but they have continued to see 100% of the most urgent category 1 and 86% of category 2 patients within their recommended triage time,” Mr Pennington said.
“In category 2 this is particularly impressive, as there has been a significant 16% increase in the number of these patients, who have complex conditions, presenting at our departments.
“Patients who have more complex or urgent medical conditions take up more resourcing and attention, so to perform strongly in triage times despite that challenge is an outstanding job by our emergency teams.
“There was also a significant 11% increase of category 3 patients which is particularly challenging when consider that we treated close to 4000 patients in this category.”
Pressure on local emergency departments should be reduced through the recent opening of the new Hervey Bay Hospital emergency department in late January, which doubles the local emergency bed capacity, and the additional new medical ward at Bundaberg Hospital which will provide more inpatient beds for emergency patients to be admitted to.