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Patients benefit from almost 50,000 on-time elective procedures in 5 years

Wide Bay patients have benefited from almost 50,000 on-time elective surgery procedures in the past five financial years, thanks to the outstanding performance of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service teams.

The achievement is the direct result of WBHHS meeting its clinically-recommended waiting times consistently since the 2014-15 financial year, making it a statewide leader in elective surgery.

In the five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19, WBHHS operating theatres have treated 49,684 elective surgery patients, including endoscopy procedures – averaging close to 10,000 per year.

“It is vital people receive their care in the right place at the right time, which is why WBHHS made it a priority for all elective surgery patients to be seen on time – and where possible, significantly sooner than the state benchmarks,” Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said.

“Firstly, that meant clearing a backlog of long wait patients and, when that was complete, ensuring Wide Bay patients continue to be seen within their waiting times year-after-year.

“That was an enormous task which saw the WBHHS rise from a total of 7803 elective surgery procedures in 2012/13 to around 10,000 patients each and every year.

“Our Strategic Plan Care Comes First… Through Patients’ Eyes is all about delivering health services that meet the needs of patients and improves their quality of life, and treating elective surgery patients on time is a big part of that.”

WBHHS Acting Chief Executive Robyn Bradley said it was the staff across Wide Bay hospitals who deserved the credit for treating the high volume of elective surgery patients on time each year.

“From our operating theatre teams to our administrative support staff, our employees who look after elective surgery deserve great acclaim for the work they continue to do to ensure patients receive their care on time,” Ms Bradley said.

“To have performed close to 50,000 elective surgeries in five years is a huge achievement, which shows we haven’t just cleared the backlog of elective surgery patients, but are sustainably treating our community on time, virtually every time.

“On-time surgery lessens the chances of complications, improves the likelihood of good post-surgical outcomes and returns patients back to their homes to enjoy an enhanced quality of life.”

Ms Bradley said the latest performance data for June confirmed that WBHHS continued to perform strongly in a challenging environment.

“Across the health service our teams continue to perform strongly despite the rising numbers of patients who require their care,” she said.

“Our emergency departments experienced a 19% increase in presentations in June 2019 compared to June 2018, which included a 51% increase in our highest-priority Category 1 patients and 41% in our Category 2 patients.

“That significant increase in presentations is particularly challenging for our hard-working emergency department teams, so it’s a real credit that they’ve performed better than last year –  with 72% of patients triaged on time across all categories, compared to 71% in June 2018.

“On top of that the median wait time across all five categories was only 19 minutes and 78% of patients had an ED stay of less than four hours, which is an excellent result in these circumstances.”

Note – Monthly statewide elective surgery public data focuses on Category 1, 2 and 3 procedures. Endoscopy and other diagnostic procedures (categories 4, 5 and 6) are not included in statewide elective surgery public data, but are counted by WBHHS because these procedures form an important part of our elective surgery waiting lists and serve a crucial diagnostic purpose for our patients.

Last updated: 23 July 2019