There has been a solid rise in patients at the Tweed Heads Hospital. Picture: Jerad Williams
There has been a solid rise in patients at the Tweed Heads Hospital. Picture: Jerad Williams

Numbers spike at Tweed Heads Hospital

THERE was a surge in patients at emergency departments across the Northern Rivers in the second quarter of the year, new figures show.

More than 52,000 cases in emergency departments were recorded from April to June in the Northern NSW Local Health District.

This is an increase of more than seven per cent this time last year.

Tweed Heads Hospital recorded a rise of 4.9 per cent over the quarter compared to the same time last year, while others recorded spikes of more than 10 per cent.

NNSWLHD Director Clinical Operations, Lynne Weir, said despite this significant

increase in activity, emergency treatment performance remained strong.

"We're seeing near record activity in our emergency departments, yet our hospitals are still performing at very high levels when it comes to providing patients with quality and timely care," Ms Weir said.

Ambulance arrivals were also on the rise over the last quarter, with a spike of 8.3 per cent from the same time last year.

"The median time for patients leaving our EDs this quarter was just under 2 hours, well below the state average of 2 hours and 53 minutes."

The average stay in Northern Rivers hospitals across all departments was less than three days, according to the figures.

"Thanks to the excellent, efficient care provided by our staff, patients are being discharged back to their own homes or into community care to continue their recovery where they're most comfortable," Ms Weir said.

A major positive for the region was a perfect record for elective-surgeries to be completed on time.

Ms Weir said it was a credit to the hospital staff to achieve this result, but stressed if numbers continued to rise at this rate it could become an issue for hospital staff.

"I am proud to say that 100 per cent of urgent elective surgery procedures were performed on time, as were 92 per cent of semi-urgent procedures," she said.

"However, we also recognise elective surgery is affected by our high activity in the system and we're working with clinicians and management to improve waiting times."