War of words over emergency unit

20/03/2019 Posted by admin

A war of words has erupted over claims ambulances were diverted away from Nepean Hospital this week. Picture: Woolf PetersThe head of Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District has denied NSW Opposition claims ambulances were diverted away from Nepean Hospital during high volumes of emergency department presentations this week.
Nanjing Night Net

Opposition Health Spokesman Walt Secord released a statement sayingthe hospital was taken off the NSW Patient Allocation Matrix,meaning cases brought to the emergency unit by ambulance were diverted to other hospitals from 3.30am to 5.30am on Sunday, January 16.

A statement issued by the health district admitted the hospital had experienced “extremely high demand”, with 217 presentations to its emergency department on Sunday.

However,Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District chief executive Kay Hyman later denied patients had been diverted away from Nepean.

“Let me make this clear – not a single patient was diverted away from Nepean Hospital, not a single ambulance,”she said. “At no stage was Nepean Hospital on what is being referred to as a ‘bypass’ or, ‘off the matrix’.

“When Nepean hospital experienced a high number of patients arriving through the emergency department on Sunday to alleviate some pressure on Monday morning, the health system immediately enacted contingency planning to ensure it was protected in the event the surge continued past expected levels.

“In the event Nepean Hospital continued to see an influx of seriously unwell patients the contingency plans would allow for some ambulance patients to be transported to surrounding hospitals if required. This is an important point, at all times the matrix provides ambulance with multiple hospitals as an option.

“Seriously or critically unwell patients are always seen first. In fact, at Nepean Hospital, one patient arriving by ambulance was in a critical condition.Not only did that patient receive incredible care from the paramedics who attended him, he arrived without delay and was triaged and under the care of doctors immediately.”

Mr Secord said he had been advised patients were “transported past Nepean Hospital” onto other facilities, and demanded an explanation from the state government.

“In an emergency situation, every minute counts. This meant that patients were transferred to other hospitals, adding extra time to their journey to hospital,” he said.

Local state and federal MPs Prue Car (Londonderry) and Emma Husar (Lindsay) also accused the government of “apathy and inaction” over Nepean Hospital, which is one of the busiest in the statewith more than 68,000 patients a year coming into theemergency department.

Of those, nearly half –or 47.4 per cent of patients – wait longer than four hours for treatment.

Ms Hyman said Nepean Hospital achieved an Ambulance Transfer of Care of 95 per cent despite the high number of presentations on Sunday, meaning that 95 per centof all ambulances were offloaded within 30 minutes.

“The target is 90 per cent,” she said.

Penrith MP Stuart Ayres also hit back at Labor, saying its record on the hospital was “a joke”.

“Labor built an emergency department that was too small to start with and now the Liberals have to fix it,” he said in a statement.

“Labor’s current policy is to rip over $200 million out of the hospital budget. You simply can’t trust Labor to deliver for Nepean Hospital, they never have before and now they want to cut funds from it again.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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