Non-urgent patients at Mudgee emergency department decrease

Mudgee District Hospital.
Mudgee District Hospital.

The latest report by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows that the number of patients with minor injuries going to the Mudgee District Hospital emergency department has fallen in the past year.

New figures for NSW hospitals suggest that people are heeding a public education campaign urging people with cut fingers, the common cold and other minor complaints to avoid clogging up casualty wards.

Between October and December 2016, a total 3067 patients presented at the local emergency department, 124 less (a 1.8 per cent decrease) than the same time last year.

235 less people (31.8 per cent) with non-urgent minor injuries visited the Mudgee emergency department in October-December 2016 compared to the same time the previous year.

A Western NSW Local Health District spokesman said the result was pleasing and put it down to a campaign to curb the number of presentations for non-emergencies.

“The reduction in presentations is encouraging to see as the Local Health District has recently commenced a campaign to educate the community about when and where people should seek healthcare, so as they receive the most appropriate care, in the right place and at the right time,” he said.

“HealthDirect Australia operate a 24 hour telephone health advice line [1800 022 222 for non-emergencies] staffed by registered nurses to provide fast and simple expert advice on health issues.”

The median waiting period for patients in need of ‘Emergency’ – chest pain, severe burns, etc – was nine minutes at the Mudgee District Hospital emergency department.

The median time ‘Urgent’ patients – moderate blood loss, dehydration, etc - waited to start treatment in the department was 23 minutes.

The median amount of time spent by patients in Mudgee’s emergency department was one hour and 47 minutes.

87 per cent of patients spent four hours or less in emergency.

It was in this area that the local hospital performed better than Orange and Dubbo (73 per cent), and Bathurst (74 per cent), with only Lithgow (88 per cent) eclipsing them.

And 85 per cent of patients who arrived by ambulance were transferred into care of emergency department staff within 30 minutes.

Local patients waiting for semi-urgent elective surgery will have an average waiting time of 48 days.