MORE than one-third of patients presenting to Dubbo Hospital's emergency department (ED) are not being treated on time, new data shows.
The ED has recorded a 10 per cent surge in patient numbers, from 8387 to 9223, during the April to June quarter this year.
Data released on Wednesday by the Bureau of Health Information shows that just 64.4 per cent of people are being treated within clinically recommended time frames at Dubbo's ED compared to the 70.5 per cent in similar hospitals.
Also, the hospital's ED has recorded a 5.5 per cent drop in the number of patients starting treatment on time compared to the same quarter in 2018.
When asked why treatment times in Dubbo's ED had declined compared to last year and were longer than similar hospitals, Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) chief executive Scott McLachlan said overall the region had improved and the median time for patients to leave EDs was two hours, an improvement of 10 minutes on the same quarter last year.
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However, the median time in Dubbo is two hours and 56 minutes, and while that's eight minutes longer than the same quarter last year, it was below its peer group results of three hours and 10 minutes.
"Western NSW Local Health District is performing well in key areas, including complex emergency work, which is a testament to the work of our staff and the investment in our hospitals," Mr McLachlan said.
He said between mid 2012 and mid 2019 the WNSWLHD increased its workforce by 478 full-time equivalent staff - an increase of 10.0 per cent - including 147 more doctors, 124 more nurses and midwives, and 167 more allied health staff.
Dubbo and Orange hospitals are both listed as a 'class B major' facility, but Orange's ED treated more patients on time.
Orange's ED experienced a larger increase in patient numbers (12.2 per cent compared to Dubbo's 10.0 per cent) this quarter, with numbers surging from 7297 to 8188. Despite this, 73.9 per cent of patients were treated within clinically recommended time frames in Orange and the median time to leave the ED was below its peer group average.
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