Mid North Coast Local Health District

The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) has again performed well in the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI)Healthcare Quarterly report, recording improvement across several key areas of Emergency Department and Elective Surgery performance.

MNCLHD Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said from January to March 2018, 31,891 people attended Emergency Departments at public hospitals across the district (Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Macksville and Coffs Harbour).

“An important priority for our Local Health District is to reduce the time people spend in the Emergency Department and the latest Hospital Quarterly report shows that 76.6 per cent of patients left EDs across the district within four hours of arriving,” Mr Dowrick said.

“This quarter, the average transfer of care time was 12 minutes while 90 per cent of patients arriving at Mid North Coast public hospitals by ambulance were transferred to the Emergency Department within the 30-minute benchmark.

“We will continue to work closely with clinicians to improve waiting times for patients visiting our Emergency Departments.” 

Mr Dowrick said while less urgent presentations to our emergency departments had declined compared to last year there were still patients coming to hospital emergency departments for non-emergency reasons who could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing services such as their General Practitioner or local pharmacy.

Coffs Harbour Health Campus saw an increase of 193, or two per cent, in Emergency Department presentations and strategies have been put in place to improve patient treatment time including the addition of a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department and a weekend physiotherapist during the winter months.

Staff are also monitoring weekend discharge rates and adherence to the direct admission policy to improve the time to move patients to the hospital ward.

There has also been an increased focus on proactive management of systems and processes to facilitate patient flow including; admission policies and procedures including fast-track and direct admissions, network flows with patient returns to referring facilities post specialist care. A Mental Health Services Short Term Escalation Plan has also been developed.

Mr Dowrick said the BHI Healthcare Quarterly also reported 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.

“The Local Health District provided elective surgical services to 2,543 patients in the January to March 2018 quarter, with a consistent 98.8 per cent of procedures performed within the clinically recommended timeframes.”

The district was successful in receiving $490,000 in funding for additional elective surgery on the Mid North Coast as part of the additional $3 million the NSW Government is providing through the Increasing Access to Elective Surgery Initiative 2017. This funding will ensure more total knee replacements and total hip replacements will be performed this financial year.