Tumut Hospital scores strongly

The new Wagga hospital, where almost a third of patients wait more than four hours to receive care
The new Wagga hospital, where almost a third of patients wait more than four hours to receive care

Tumut hospital is performing well in comparison against the rest of the state, according to the NSW Bureau of Health Information’s latest statistics.

98 per cent of Tumut patients spent four hours or less in the emergency department, a target the rest of NSW is struggling to reach. Over a quarter of patients statewide waited longer than four hours in emergency rooms to be seen by health professionals.

Patients who’s health risk is classified as ‘urgent’ waited on average an impressive six minutes to be seen in Tumut, compared with the 21 minutes spent waiting by the average NSW resident.

70 per cent of patients who arrived by ambulance were transferred within half an hour, and 78 per cent of Tumut Hospital’s patients rated their care as ‘Very Good.’

The statistics fall moving west to the new Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital.

The hospital saw one of the greatest improvements in the state in terms of moving patients through their emergency room.

However, 31 per cent of patients still waited over four hours to receive care, falling below the state average of 26 per cent.

‘Urgent’ patients presenting to the emergency room waited an average of 21 minutes to start treatment, and only 57 per cent of patients rated their emergency department care as ‘Very Good.’

Director of Operations for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District Brett Thompson said Wagga Wagga still has some work to do, but the strategies for improvement put in place have been effective.

“[Improvement is] partly due to the new hospital, although with the new hospital we’d also had a fairly large increase in people presenting to the emergency department. We also have a new unit attached to the ED, which helps with flow and managing people moving through,” he said.

“There’s been a focus this year on managing those strategies and improving results. We’ll continue with those and we’re continuing to see improvements. It’s been a work in progress, but the results are continuing to show great benefits.”

Mr Thompson said the hospital was also focusing on its ability to respond to the needs of the wider region, including smaller towns like Tumut.

“There are a few things working together that are helping our ability to provide the right level of clinical care at the right place. We’re getting better at working as a district as a whole rather than all these individual sites.”

Mr Thompson said Tumut Hospital and its staff deserve congratulations for their excellent statistical showing.

“They’re very good,” he said. “They do a great job. All of our staff are striving to provide the best possible care that they can, and it’s fantastic that many of our sites are achieving great results.”

6771 patients presented to the Tumut Hospital in the past year, as opposed to the 39, 424 patients coming through the doors at regional centre Wagga Wagga.

The new $282 million Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital opened in January this year.