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The number of Category 1 patients – those with the most urgent and life-threatening conditions, continue to rise across Metro South hospitals, recent data shows.
Metro South Health A/Chief Executive Robert Mackway-Jones said the increase in patients had a significant flow on effect on all hospital services.
“More patients requiring immediate or imminent life-saving care have been treated in Metro South Health emergency departments this year than ever before,” he said.
“There were 45 per cent more Category 1 presentations in March 2019 compared to the same month in 2018 (356 in March 2019 compared to 246 in March 2018). Of these, 99 per cent were seen within the recommended times.
“Critically ill or injured patients typically require more care and take longer to recover, with these figures highlighting the importance of efficient patient flow process to help ensure they receive timely and high-quality care.”
Metro South Health hospitals continue to experience widespread rising demand at emergency departments across its region, especially the most urgent and complex presentations.
“Presentations across Metro South Health emergency departments (which includes the Princess Alexandra, Logan, QEII, and Redland Hospitals) have increased by two per cent in March 2019 compared to March 2018,” Mr Mackway-Jones said.
“Addressing emergency department wait times is a key priority for Metro South Health and we are employing a range of strategies and initiatives to achieve this.
“The Patient Access Coordination Hub (PACH) continues to help Metro South Health manage efficient patient flow to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. This process includes identifying and responding to delays in treatment at the emergency department to ensure optimal treatment times.”
Demand for elective surgery also continues to rise. Metro South Health treated 2,268 elective surgery patients at the end of March 2019 compared to 2,039 at the end of March 2018 – an increase of 11.2 per cent.
“Our clinical teams deserve enormous credit for managing the growing demand we are experiencing across our region and continuing to deliver exceptional healthcare to our community, despite additional pressures such as the summer flu season and the upcoming winter period,” Mr Mackway-Jones said.
“It takes a special kind of person to work on the frontline, and front of mind for all our clinical staff is to get patients well and back to their families as soon as possible.”
For more information on emergency departments, visit www.qld.gov.au/health/services/emergency