Elective surgery wait times fall

GRAFTON'S emergency department is getting busier and the waiting list for elective surgeries is falling.

The NSW Bureau of Health Information Hospital Quarterly report shows Grafton Base Hospital admitted 3630 patients over the last three months of 2015.

The average stay was 2.3 days.

The report reveals the emergency department was extra busy as 6356 patients came through the doors - this was a 4% increase on the December 2014 quarter.

About 864 patients arrived by ambulance and 75% of all patients were discharged within four hours.

The BHI data also shows surgeons were slightly less busy compared to the same period in 2014.

In the last three months of 2015, they performed 564 elective operations, a decrease of 4%.

Elective surgery waiting lists dropped.

The final quarter of last year saw 632 patients on the waiting list, compared to 994 at the end of 2014.

A total of 97% of patients received their elective surgeries on time - a decrease of 3% on the same period.

There was a 13-day median wait for urgent elective operations, a 47-day wait for semi-urgent patients and a 268-day wait for those in the non-urgent category.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief of staff Wayne Jones said the shift in Grafton's elective surgery numbers stemmed from the hospital helping out another region.

"For the prior year they were doing some work for patients from the Mid North Coast," he said.

"We haven't reduced elective surgery at Grafton at all."

Mr Jones said the emergency department increase was influenced by a number of factors.

"Part of it is the population trend, part of it is accessing GPs in the community and part of it is visitors coming through (the region)," he said.

"The emergency department has been allocated increased resources to manage that increase in demand."

In the December 2015 quarter, 111 of the entire Northern NSW Local Health District's 796 babies were born at Grafton Base Hospital.

Region-wide, hospitals admitted 26,547 patients, with the average stay being 2.8 days.

About 3370 elective surgeries - a fall of 6% on the previous year - were performed across Ballina, Casino, Lismore and Grafton hospitals.


December 2015 quarter performance

  • Admitted patients: 3630
  • Acute patients: 3575
  • Non-acute patients: 55
  • Number of bed days
  • Acute overnight: 5611
  • Acute same-day: 2165
  • Non-acute overnight: 450
  • Non-acute same-day: 0
  • Average length of stay: 2.3 days
  • Number of babies born: 111


  • ES performed: 564 (-4% on the December 2014 quarter)
  • Urgent surgery: 117, 13-day median waiting time
  • Semi-urgent surgery: 157, 47-day median waiting time
  • Non-urgent surgery: 288, 268-day median waiting time
  • % of patients who received elective surgery on time: 97%, (-3% on the December 2014 quarter)
  • Patients on ES waiting list: 632


  • Emergency presentations: 6356 patients, (+4% on the December 2014 quarter)
  • % of patients leaving the emergency department within four hours: 75%
  • Ambulance arrivals: 864 patients

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