The Tweed Hospital Photo: Jessica Lamb
The Tweed Hospital Photo: Jessica Lamb

Data reveals how our hospitals fared during COVID-19

HOSPITALS in the Tweed continued to perform despite rising pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic according to recent data.

The latest Bureau of Health Information Quarterly Report released earlier this month revealed Murwillumbah District Hospital experienced a 9.3 per cent increase in ambulance arrivals.

Yet there was an overall decrease in ED presentations, down 2.6 per cent to 4411.

While The Tweed Hospital saw a 9.7 per cent increase in ambulance arrivals and an overall one per cent increase in ED presentations, up to 13,627.


The Tweed Hospital's coronavirus fever clinic Photo: Jessica Lamb
The Tweed Hospital's coronavirus fever clinic Photo: Jessica Lamb


Murwillumbah's T1 presentations, the most urgent category, decreased by half to a total of five, however emergency, urgent, and semi-urgent presentations all increased.

However 86.7 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours.

Tweed's T1 presentations doubled compared to the first quarter in 2019, and ED presentations were up across all five triage categories.

Despite this increase, the median time to emergency T2 treatment only increased by one minute and was reduced in all other triage categories.

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Also, 80 per cent of patients started treatment on time, a 0.4 per cent improvement.

At Murwillumbah District Hospital there was an 18.5 per cent (73) decrease in elective surgeries, down to 322, with 97.7 per cent of all surgeries performed on time.

About 940 surgeries were performed at the Tweed hospital, an increase of 9.9 per cent on January -March 2019.

There was a notable 94.9 per cent increase in non-urgent procedures, up by 149 to 306 and 91.2 per cent of all procedures were performed on time.


The Tweed Hospital Photo: Jessica Lamb
The Tweed Hospital Photo: Jessica Lamb


Chief executive Wayne Jones for the Northern NSW Local Health District, that covers from Tweed Heads to Grafton, said for many of their team, this period would have been one of the most stressful in their careers.

"Not only did we have to prepare quickly for a large COVID-19 outbreak, and the many operational changes that involved, we also maintained the high-quality care Northern NSW residents are accustomed to," he said.

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"According to this report, we are again one of the top rural Local Health Districts in the state when it comes to timeliness of care, and I could not speak more highly of our team of healthcare professionals."

Data also showed during the January to March 2020 quarter Tweed treated 164 acute mental health patients.

The rate of seclusion at Tweed was 1.7 per 1000 bed days.

The rate of physical restraint events Tweed was 7.2, above the NSW average of 7.0.

The duration of physical restraint was an average of 1 minute well below the NSW average of 5 minutes.