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Emergency Department Numbers Peak Over Holidays

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More than 3,600 patients made their way through Wide Bay emergency departments over the peak holiday period.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service data shows between December 24, 2019 and January 2, 2020 1,500 people presented to Bundaberg Hospital, 1,370 to Hervey Bay Hospital and 687 in Maryborough Hospital.

At Bundaberg and Hervey Bay this represented a rise in average daily presentation numbers compared to the 2019 daily averages and the previous Christmas holidays.

“Our three biggest emergency departments experienced busy holiday periods, with high presentation numbers that were well above normal daily activity,” WBHHS Acting Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said.

“The busiest day for all of our EDs was December 27, with 188 patients presenting at Bundaberg Hospital, 154 at Hervey Bay and 77 at Maryborough.

“This wasn’t unexpected, because we know the population of our region swells during the holidays due to relatives visiting for Christmas and tourists for the holidays, as well as the closure of many local primary health services for the break.

“However, overall our numbers were also up when compared to the previous Christmas, which indicates the ever-growing demand for our services.

“We would like to thank our residents and visitors for working with us and being patient at what has been a busy time for our staff at all our facilities.”

At Bundaberg Hospital, there were an average 155 presentations per day during the 2019-20 holiday period.

Ms Carroll said although WBHHS was accustomed to planning for holiday peaks, it still took a significant clinical and coordination effort from staff to provide the best possible care to local and visiting patients.

“On behalf of our Executive and Board, I’d like to thank all our staff for their efforts throughout the Christmas and New Year period,” she said.

“It takes a whole-of-hospital effort to make sure our care and patient flow is exceptional, and without that our emergency department can’t function.

“While our community celebrates the festive season with loved ones, many of our staff across multiple disciplines are giving up time with their own families to continue to provide high-quality services to our patients.

“It’s their commitment to caring for their fellow community members and visitors to our region that means we can continue to provide consistently great care to patients throughout the holidays.”