Emergency department waiting times at Peel Health Campus have improved in the last two months, with a health chief attributing the results to streamlined operational processes.
The Mandurah Mailreported in June that PHC had the second-worst emergency department waiting times in WA, with more than 32 per cent of patients in April 2018 waiting longer than four hours to be seen.
In May 2018, 71 per cent of PHC emergency patients were seen in four hours or less – up from 67.5 per cent in May 2017.
In June 2018, 69.1 per cent of emergency attendees were seen in four hours or less – up from 63.9 per cent in June 2017.
While PHC’s waiting times remain some of the worst statistically in WA, South Metropolitan Health Service chief executive Paul Forden said a change in the way patients were being treated had led to improvements.
“I have been concerned about the emergency waiting times and have been working with (operator) Ramsay (Health Care) around that,” he said.
“They have improved quite dramatically recently but largely because of looking at internal processes.
“There have been long wait times for some patients as they wait for results, which could build pressure on the ED.
“What Peel have now done is create short-stay assessment beds so patients can come out of the ED, they are not admitting to a ward but go to another bedded area and we allow the ED the capacity to see more patients.
“These patients are appropriately looked after until a final decision is made to admit or discharge.
“I’m looking at this with Ramsay to see if we can do more – these are the kind of operational changes that are needed.”
Health Minister Roger Cook said everything was being done to reduce waiting times at PHC.
“Paul has been working hard with the staff to continue to improve the services,” he said.
“Because of the ongoing population growth in Mandurah, the hospital will continue to have a growing demand for its services.
“Ramsay are determined to make Peel Health Campus a success – they are doing a great job.”
Mr Forden said PHC was committed to serving the community.
“I want to make sure that we can constantly meet the needs of the local population – that is our role and responsibility,” he said.
“For those services that need to be provided locally, I want to make sure that we are able to deliver those in PHC.
“I want to make sure that the residents of Mandurah know that Peel is a very good, safe, local hospital and we will continue to invest it in and continue to ensure it meets the needs of the local population.”