Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon are pushing for Hunter New England Health to implement big changes at Inverell District Hospital.
Wednesday, 4 May 2022
NEW figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Health Information (BHI) have highlighted and validated the Inverell community’s frustration with the quality of care provided at the hospital’s emergency department, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the report’s results presented further proof that big changes must be made by Hunter New England Health and permanent ED doctors must be hired.
The results of the BHI Emergency Department Patient Survey 2020–21 reflects the experiences patients who attended emergency departments (EDs) from July 2020 to June 2021.
Mr Marshall said Inverell Hospital had the least amount of responds answer ‘very good’ to three key areas of satisfaction for ED treatment, compared to the NSW average.
“These results alone are justification for Hunter New England Health to review its reliance on locum doctors and hire permanent practitioners for regional emergency departments,” Mr Marshall said.
“46 per cent of respondents said the quality of care was very good. That number being less than half is far from satisfactory in my books.
“For me the big tell is where patients have ranked how well ED professionals worked together, with just 42 per cent registering very good.
“That speaks volumes as to how well the current reliance on fly-in and fly-out locum doctors is going in regards to staff cohesion, continuity of care and meeting the needs of the patients.
“I implore Health District management to use this data as an excuse to dump the status quo and relook at ways to improve the permanent hiring of doctors.”
Mr Marshall hastened to add the survey results were not a reflection of the work being done by the community’s frontline nurses and allied health staff.
“I want to thank our local and hard-working nurses who turns up to fulfil their shift each day, knowing they might be the one who has to respond to a serious incident because there is no doctor on staff,” he said.
“I have no doubt that the saving grace for Inverell Hospital is the local staff who live in the community and understand the needs of the patients who present at the ED.
“It is worrying if this was the community’s sentiment a year ago what the results will look like when the 2022-23 survey findings are released.
“What I’m suggesting is the Health District to work with me and the community to turn this situation around so that patient and staff satisfaction rates meet the level the community expects.”