Log jam in Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department

Waiting: Campbelltown Hospital emergency department. Picture: Anna Warr

Waiting: Campbelltown Hospital emergency department. Picture: Anna Warr

Waiting times at Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department are still among the highest in the state.

The latest Bureau of Health Information Hospital Quarterly (April 2017-June 2017) showed four out of every 10 people who presented to the ED did not leave the department within the state government’s four-hour benchmark.

Only three other hospitals – Westmead (47.3 per cent), Blacktown (46.9) and Liverpool (40.9) – recorded worse results than Campbelltown’s 40.7 per cent.

While the latest report was an improvement from the previous quarter’s, 44.1 per cent, it was still far from acceptable, Campbelltown MP Greg Warren (Labor) said.

“It does fluctuate but disturbingly it fluctuates around the 40 per cent mark of people waiting beyond four hours for emergency care. That’s an enormous amount of time,” he said.

“It shows how hard the staff are working but also how under-resourced they are.”

Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell (Liberal) said the number was still too high though he was confident priority patients weren’t suffering in the department’s hallways or waiting room.

“What I do know is that anyone who’s needs are urgent is getting seen. Those urgent situations are seen to very quickly,” he said.

“But I’d like to see 100 per cent of people with urgent or life-threatening situations to be seen (within four hours).

“There are always improvements to be made.”

Mr Warren has repeatedly raised concerns regarding insufficient staff numbers at the hospital.

He said the extra $632 million the state government would spend on upgrades to the hospital would be useless if staff numbers didn’t dramatically increase.

“We need bricks and mortar to be matched with people (staff),” he said.

“There is still available space at Campbelltown Hospital but it isn’t being used.

“There aren’t enough clinicians or allied health workers.”

Mr Rowell said he wanted to assure Macarthur residents that the region’s major hospital, once upgraded, would not be a series of empty hallways and rooms.

“I guarantee that the upgrades are coming and the hospital will be fully staffed,” he said.

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