ON TIME: Grafton Base Hospital emergency department.
ON TIME: Grafton Base Hospital emergency department.

REVEALED: What you think of our emergency departments

A TRIP to the emergency department is one of our least favourite things to do, but our local hospitals appear to be making it a decent experience.

The latest report from the Bureau of Health Information has released survey results from patients who were treated in emergency departments in 2018/19.

At Maclean District Hospital, 70 per cent of patients rated their care as very good, for a total of 93 per cent who classified it as good, well above the state average.

At Grafton Base Hospital, 62 per cent ranked the service as very good, again above the state average of 58 per cent, with 95 per cent rating it good or better.

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The surveys quiz patients across a range of topics including paperwork, involvement in treatment and cleanliness.

For our two hospitals, scores are highest when responding to issues about direct care, and staff attitude.

At Maclean, 84 per cent said the team were always kind and caring. 81 per cent said they were always able to get personal assistance or advice.

Maclean Hospital.
Maclean Hospital.

At Grafton, 72 per cent of patients said they would ‘speak highly’ of their experience. 86 per cent of respondents said they were given the ‘right’ amount of information about their

condition. 82 per cent said staff were kind and caring.

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Respondents at Grafton also complimented the service on triage time, with 85 per cent treated within an hour, and 72 per cent of patients said they would ‘speak highly’ of their experience.

The only negative score listed by either hospital, was in response to whether ED staff provided a document to summarise care for their GP, with patients responding at 30 per cent or less.

Across the Northern NSW Local Health District, staff-based results also led the way.

The survey found that if asked by family and friends about their emergency department experience in Northern NSW, 76 per cent of patients said they would speak highly, while 69 per cent rated their overall care as very good, both results equalling the highest in NSW.

Grafton Base Hospital. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Grafton Base Hospital. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

According to the report, Northern NSW emergency departments recorded the highest percentage of patients in the state who said they saw a doctor within 10 minutes (75 per cent) and the second highest for initial assessment within 15 minutes (76 per cent).

Patients rated the ED staff highly for their teamwork, with 63 per cent saying the way the health professionals worked together was ‘very good’, the highest in NSW, and 72 per cent of patients rated the treatment provided by the ED health professionals as ‘very good’, equal highest in NSW.

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“The results not only show an efficient, hardworking team, but also a team that really cares about their local community,” NNSWLHD chief executive Wayne Jones said.

“On top of some of the quickest responses in the state, we also consistently rate in the top few sites for care-related measures.”

NNSWLHD emergency departments recorded high scores when it came to cleanliness, with 78 per cent of respondents saying the treatment area was ‘very clean’, the highest result in NSW. This rose to 80 per cent at both Maclean and Grafton hospitals.

“Providing excellent hospital care is a team effort, and it’s great to see our fantastic cleaning staff being recognised for the work they do in keeping the environment clean and hygienic for our community,” Mr Jones said.

The Bureau of Health Information releases regular reports on the state of hospitals and other health services in New South Wales.

Their website can be found at www.bhi.nsw.gov.au



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