Peel patients made to wait in emergency

Peel Health Campus emergency department patients had the second-longest wait times in the state out of 24 hospitals, the latest health data from April reveals. 

More than 32 per cent of patients arriving in the PHC emergency ward in April were made to wait longer than four hours to be seen, according to the Department of Health monthly report. 

This is the second longest ED wait time in the state behind Fiona Stanley Hospital. 

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The “four-hour rule” requires 90 per cent of all ED patients be treated in less than four hours. 

The numbers have improved by 2.6 per cent since April 2017, when PHC had the longest episode wait times in the state with 34.9 per cent of patients made to wait longer than four hours. 

However, the campus still lags behind 23 state hospitals in meeting the four-hour rule.

The latest quarterly report from October to December 2017 continued the trend, as PHC had the longest ED wait times in WA with 34.6 per cent of people waiting longer than four hours to be seen.

Health Minister Roger Cook said they were aware of the wait times and “bed block” could be adding to the wait times, restricting patient flow.  

“Improving patient wait times in the Peel Health Campus emergency department is vital in delivering safe care to the people in the Peel region,” he said. 

“One area of concern is the shortage of federally funded, residential aged care beds. 

“This means elderly patients are unable to be discharged and are forced to stay in hospital. 

“‘Bed block’ is felt throughout the hospital system, restricting patient flow.

“Emergency Department admissions are then forced to remain in ED longer because a suitable bed is not available.” 

Mr Cook said he was pleased to see the patient wait time had decreased from April 2017 to April 2018. 

“However, I am sure the hospital will continue to implement new ways to alleviate pressure on the emergency department, increase patient flow and improve the wait times,” he said.