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New ED serves growing needs of region, with almost 43,000 cases in first year

Hervey Bay Hospital’s emergency department team saw almost 43,000 cases walk through the doors of its state-of-the art new facility in its first year of operation, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service data reveals.

From the time the new $44.66 million facility opened its doors on January 31, 2019, through to January 30, 2020, the team carried out 42,855 episodes of care for a Fraser Coast community whose needs are growing all the time.

Data also shows that by January 2020, an average of 121 people per day were presenting to the new ED, compared to an average 109 per day the previous year.

“On the first anniversary of the facility’s opening, I’d like to congratulate all our Hervey Bay Hospital emergency department staff for continuing to provide great-quality care to our patients in the face of rising demand,” WBHHS Acting Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said.

“It’s one thing to have a new environment, new technology and more treatment spaces, but none of that means anything without the dedication, hard work and expertise that our emergency department team shows every single day.

“This ED has always been a facility for the future. We know demand will continue to grow, so it’s fantastic to have a modern facility that will enable us to keep building our capacity as we need to.

“As a health service, we constantly have to look ahead to enable us to plan for future health needs, and our emergency team should be proud of the contribution they’re making to the Fraser Coast community, now and in the years ahead.

“Our infrastructure team should also be proud as they reflect back on their roles in the planning, construction, commissioning and transitioning into the building, their expertise and knowledge helped make the new facility possible.”

Fraser Coast Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Dr Emeka Nwufoh said the new emergency department had been badly needed and was making a significant difference both to patients and staff.

“Our new emergency department is a vast improvement on the former ED, which was a challenging and cramped environment to work in,” Dr Nwufoh said.

“Transitioning to the new ED has not only given us more space and a more modern working environment, but it’s also enabled us to put in place models of care that help us to be more responsive to the needs of our community.

“The fast-track area enables us to move our less complex patients through a better process of care and discharge, and the design of our acute areas – including having almost immediate access to x-ray – has made a big difference to our sickest patients.

“Providing care in a new facility always takes some getting used to, but our team has embraced the challenge, adapted well and delivered great care.

“On our first birthday, I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved, proud of the facility we have and, most of all, proud of the service we’ve provided to our patients.

“We can also look to the future and know we’re building the foundation of a great model that will continue to adapt as our community’s needs evolve and grow.”

Last updated: 3 February 2020