WAIT TIMES: Flu season extended emergency department wait times at Coffs Harbour during the winter quarter.
WAIT TIMES: Flu season extended emergency department wait times at Coffs Harbour during the winter quarter. Trevor Veale

Coffs patients complain of emergency ward wait times

ADULT patients attending Coffs Harbour Health Campus gave a strong vote of support for their general hospital care but were less impressed by the emergency department.

Patient feedback information released by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows while 72 per cent of adult patients rated their hospital care was very good, just 47 per cent said when needed they were able to get emergency assistance within a reasonable time frame.

Once attended to, 58 per cent then rated their emergency care as very good.

The Healthcare Quarterly report surveyed June to September this year.

In Coffs Harbour it revealed 69 per cent of patients spent four hours or less in emergency while 17 minutes was the median waiting time prior to treatment.

For patients arriving by ambulance, 89 per cent were transferred into the care of emergency department staff within 30 minutes.

The most positive outcome was 96 per cent of patients received elective surgery on time and 52 days was the median time in semi urgent cases.

The report shows more than 720,000 patients presented to a NSW public hospital emergency department, the highest number ever recorded by BHI, and 9.4 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.

Acting chief executive Dr Kim Sutherland said the increase in emergency department activity across the state was evident during one of the worst flu seasons experienced in recent years.

"Winter is typically the busiest quarter for NSW public hospitals but this winter season was particularly busy," she said.

"While the report shows decreases of between three and four percentage points in emergency department timeliness measures, there were increases of between nine and 10 per cent in the number of patients presenting to and arriving by ambulance at emergency departments."

The data including local hospital information is available at bhi.nsw.gov.au