Waiting times drop despite rise in presentations, according to report

Waiting times at Nepean Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) have dropped despite an increase in presentations, new statistics have revealed.

The  Bureau of Health Information’s (BHI) quarterly report for October to December of last year, released today (Wednesday), showed the percentage of patients who spent four hours or less in the ED was 61.8 per cent, compared to 53.3 per cent the previous year.

The news came despite an increase in the number of emergency presentations.

Nepean Hospital General Manager, Brett Williams, said the result could be attributed to a “steadfast commitment” of hospital staff to improve patient flow through the hospital.

“Despite a continual increase in the number of presentations to the ED, Nepean Hospital has improved emergency treatment performance by 8.5 per cent for the October to December 2016 period when compared to the same period in the previous year,” he said in a statement.

”A number of strategies across the hospital are on track and working well despite an increase in the demand for health services in the region.

“The report also shows our surgeons operated on more patients for elective surgery across the three categories (urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent) and yet still saw an improvement in performing these surgeries within clinically recommended timeframes - including a nearly 10 per cent improvement in the semi-urgent category.”

The report provides the most up-to-date snapshot of hospital admissions, and timeliness of elective surgery and emergency department care in NSW.

BHI chief executive Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque said emergency department waiting times were stable overall in the quarter across NSW, despite an increase of almost 20,000 patients over the same quarter the previous year.