BALLARAT Health Services Base Hospital is under increasing pressure as patient numbers continue to climb, a new report shows.
According to the Victorian Health Services Performance Report, the hospital had 9277 patients admitted in the three months to the end of June – up from 8884 admissions in the same period in 2011.
The number of elective surgery patients on the waiting list rose to 1212 from 1106 in the same period last year, but 100 per cent of the hospital’s most urgent elective surgery patients received their operations within 30 days.
There were 3880 admissions through the emergency department (ED) compared to 3488 in the same period last year.
Ballarat Health Services (BHS) chief executive officer Andrew Rowe said he was proud of his staff in being able to cope with the increased activity, which included more people attending the ED and more patients being admitted to hospital.
“We are emerging from a long, cold and wet few months that have certainly impacted on the health of our community and there have been some nasty bugs that have left people unwell and needing care and treatment at the Base,” he said.
“Our staff are not immune to illness and there have been times when we have had staff needing to take sick leave. When this has occurred we have had remaining staff go above and beyond their normal duties, at times working double shifts to ensure patients received appropriate care.”
For the most critical emergency patients, 100 per cent were treated immediately on arrival at the hospital ED.
The percentage of overall emergency department patients treated within time fell by four per cent but was above the state average of 72 per cent.
BHS treated more patients in specialist outpatient clinics, provided more bed-days and admitted more neonatal intensive care/special care nursery babies.