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CWHHS Annual Report 2019-2020

Tuesday 15 December 2020

News_Annual Report 2020

A year of achievements for Central West Health

Central West residents are benefitting from improvements in health infrastructure over the past 12 months.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Board Chair Jane Williams said infrastructure investment continued to support local economies across the Central West.

“The completion of the new $7.38 million Boulia Primary Health and Wellbeing Centre project late last year provided an economic boost to that community during the preceding period, as is the construction of the new $18.9 million hospital at Blackall,’’ she said.

“We also have plans for a new primary health care centre at Windorah that will be progressed during the current financial year.’’

The health service’s annual report for 2019–20 was tabled in State Parliament on 11 December.

Ms Williams said the health service’s priority was to deliver high-quality, consumer-focussed health services.

“To this end, Central West Health partnered with Metro North HHS Strategy and Planning Unit to develop the Central West Hospital and Health Service Plan 2020- 2025,’’ she said.

“The plan was finalised in May 2020 and provides a roadmap for the future delivery of health services across the Central West region.

“The plan has a priority focus on improving population health outcomes and building an integrated and sustainable approach to the delivery of remote and very remote healthcare.’’

Ms Williams said this was reflective of the collective voice of community and staff translated into the following four future service directions:

  • promote healthy living
  • transforming care pathways
  • align services to provide equitable access
  • enhancing our partnerships.

Ms Williams said the figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2016 showed the population of the Central West region had decreased between 2011 and 2016 and this trend was expected to continue over the next decade.

“The bureau also predicts that the number of our residents aged 65 years and over will continue to increase, while our population aged 0–14 years will decrease,’’ she said.

“These demographics have important implications for the planning of future health services in our region.

“The newly-adopted Central West Hospital and Health Service Plan 2020-2025 takes into consideration the decreasing and ageing population as well as the socio-economic challenges exacerbated by the continuing drought as inputs into our planning for the future.’’

Ms Williams said during 2020–2021, Central West Health would continue plan for the future and remain COVID-19 ready through the ongoing education, testing and careful monitoring of capacity and the appropriate streaming of patients,’’ she said.

“We will also be focussing on recovery of those services that were delayed during the intense COVID-19 preparation period.’’

In 2020–2021, Central West Health:

  • Commissioned the new $20.11 million Blackall Hospital (Officially opened 20 November).
  • Will improve access to primary care by continuing to monitor, evaluate and report on the progress of implementation of the Chronic Disease Partnership Strategy for the Barcoo, Diamantina and Boulia Shires.
  • Will demonstrate an improvement in consumer-reported outcomes in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health and respiratory disease.
  • Will maintain access to emergency care through the primary health centres and emergency departments at the levels achieved in 2019-2020.
  • Will maintain an appropriate level of planning and preparedness relative to the continuing COVID-19 situation.

Ms Williams said Central West Health had performed well during 2019–20 with 95 per cent of all patients presenting to emergency departments in the region being seen and either admitted to hospital or leaving the ED within four hours of presentation.

“This was well above the overall target of 80 per cent of all presentations to be able to depart the ED within four hours,’’ she said.

“We also treated the overwhelming majority of all three categories of elective surgery patients within the recommended waiting times for their categories, despite the nation-wide suspension of elective surgery services for some months during the height of the pandemic.

“Our median waiting time for treatment in our emergency departments during 2019–20 was 2 minutes with our median waiting time for elective surgery being 84 days.’’

As at 30 June 2020, the Central West HHS had a total of 381 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees across all classification streams, comprising full, part-time and casual staff – including 24 doctors and 161 nurses.

This was an increase of 4 FTE in total staff from 2018–19.

“All our staff – clinical and non-clinical – are our greatest asset and I’d like to pay tribute to their dedication and commitment to helping us delivery quality health services,’’ Ms Williams said.

“I’d also like to thank my board and my executive management team for their commitment and effort. Without everyone working together, we would achieve nothing.’’

Ms Williams said as at 30 June 2020, the health service had recorded an operating deficit of about $1.5 million, which reflected the increases cost pressures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic response.

“This is a good result for a small health service such as ours responding to a major pandemic while facing the challenges of remoteness and isolation that we do and we will be working on pulling that deficit back during 2020–21,’’ she said.


For further information contact:

James Guthrie

Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld

Media and Communication

Department of Health

(07) 3708 5379

Last updated: 15 December 2020