Increased demand for emergency care in the Hunter

There was an increased demand for emergency care across the Hunter New England Health District in the first quarter of this year.

The latest report from the Bureau of Health Information shows there were 110,800 attendances to Emergency Department’s (ED) between January and March, up by almost 3,000 compared to the same time last year.

More than 14,700 of those presented for emergency, imminently life-threatening care.

There was a 3.9 per cent increase in presentations to local ED’s with a significant rise in urgent and emergency patients as well as a 25 per cent increase in patients who required resuscitation.

The time it took for emergency patients to receive their treatment improved compared to twelve months ago – 54 per cent of ED patients received their treatment on time at Maitland Hospital but only about 35 per cent left within four hours.

At the John Hunter Hospital 59 per cent were treated on time but the time in the ED blew out from 4 hours on average between January and March last year, to 5 hours this year.

There were nearly 7,000 planned surgeries performed across the health district, 346 more than the end of last year and 99.9 per cent of unplanned surgeries were performed on time.

Susan Heyman, Acting Chief Executive, Hunter New England Local Health District thanked staff for their commitment to delivering safe and compassionate care to the community.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our dedicated staff who continue to go above and beyond to provide life-saving care to our patients, despite high activity and ongoing challenges to secure health staff, especially across our rural and regional areas.”

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