Grafton continues as Base
GRAFTON Base Hospital still has a role in the treatment of trauma patients, says the North Coast Area Health Service.
Responding to a story in Monday’s Daily Examiner, which reported doctors’ fears that trauma patients could bypass the hospital, an NCAHS spokesperson said there was likely to be little change in the destination hospital for most trauma patients.
The story said that doctors had identified some teething problems in a new trauma plan put in place in NSW since December.
“For the vast majority of patients who sustain minor to moderate injuries, there will be no change to the destination hospital, and they will continue to be managed at the nearest facility,” the spokesperson said.
“Coffs Harbour and Lismore are designated as Regional Trauma Services within the NSW Trauma Services Plan and only the most serious trauma cases from the Grafton area will be taken to these centres.”
The spokesperson said NCAHS was not aware of any problems with a patient seriously injured in an accident at Ulmarra who was taken to Coffs Harbour hospital.
“Under the trauma system, ambulance officers will continue to identify patients who are seriously injured and take them to the most appropriate hospital in a timely manner,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said Grafton will still have a role to play in the treatment of trauma patients.
“Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) will form part of the Statewide Trauma Network and will continue to receive minor to moderate trauma in accordance with current activity,” the spokesperson said.
“It will be formally networked, with the structured use of retrieval services, and have access to a major trauma service.”
The area health service said the new emergency department at Grafton under construction has been the result of six years of increased activity at GBH.
“Additional medical and nursing staff have been appointed to the emergency department to support the treatment of these extra patients,” the spokesperson said.
“The career medical officer establishment has been increased from two to five and an additional 8.6 FTE nurses have been appointed to the ED.”
There will be no change to the destination hospital