Peel Health Campus ED stats show strain on facilities

Hot topic: The emergency department at Peel Health Campus and its ability to deal effectively with admissions has been in the spotlight for the last six months. Photo: Shutterstock.
Hot topic: The emergency department at Peel Health Campus and its ability to deal effectively with admissions has been in the spotlight for the last six months. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Peel Health Campus emergency department is receiving 47 patients per day, on average, more than it should be for its capacity, according to documents released under Freedom of Information laws. 

The Health Department email trails and documents were requested by Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup.

The ED capacity information was included in briefing notes supplied to Health Minister Roger Cook prior to his visit to the hospital, on March 1. 

The documents state the ED capacity for PHC was designed to manage an average of 82 people per day, but is receiving 129 on average.

“PHC continues to experience issues relating to ED capacity, management of mental health presentations to ED, and required site infrastructure upgrades,” the document states. 

“In addition to the lack of capacity, the ED design currently has no separation of patients (i.e. resuscitation, paediatric, general and mental health patients).”

Health Minister Roger Cook said the Sustainable Health Review’s Interim Report identified the Peel region as a pressure point, and the state government was committed to ensuring health services were “safe, effective and sustainable”.

“Unlike the previous government, the McGowan administration is working to address the issues at Peel Health Campus which are a legacy of appalling neglect by the Liberal National government,” he said.

“The PHC has recently reviewed patient flow within the ED and has reconfigured beds in the short stay unit to allow patients to move quickly from the ED to a ward.

“The layout of the ED has also changed to provide additional space for the triage and ambulatory care areas.”

Mr Cook said the changes had reduced patient wait times between January and June this year. 

Mr Kirkup said the documents confirmed the need for investment in the  Peel Health Campus emergency department. 

“It's an admission of liability that it isn't keeping up with demand,” he said.

“It confirms once again, in writing, what all of Mandurah know. 

“This should be a siren call to the state government to immediately invest to expand the emergency department as soon as possible.

“The health minister can't keep telling us to wait for a review.

“I would challenge government to prove me wrong, but I would argue that there isn't another emergency department in WA that is so woefully small and under-resourced.”

Mr Cook will host a forum in Mandurah next month.