EVER-IMPROVING: Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service board member Dr Ross Hetherington says investing $3 million in the Warwick Hospital emergency department will help staff cope with rising admissions.
EVER-IMPROVING: Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service board member Dr Ross Hetherington says investing $3 million in the Warwick Hospital emergency department will help staff cope with rising admissions. Sophie Lester

Warwick Hospital busier than ever

FEWER babies are being born in Warwick, despite a growing number of patients accessing hospital services in the Rose City.

Just 163 babies were delivered at Warwick Hospital in 2016-17 compared to 204 in the previous financial year, the latest annual report from the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service has revealed.

Across the entire health district, there were 5% fewer babies born in the past year.

Despite lower birth rates, the number of admissions to DDHHS facilities continues to grow at a rate much higher than the rate of population growth.

In 2016-17 there was an 8% increase in admissions and a 5% increase in emergency surgeries compared to the previous financial year.

DDHHS board member DrRoss Hetherington said the $3million redevelopment of the Warwick Hospital emergency department, slated to begin next month, would help ease the burden on hospital staff.

"Across the whole of DDHHS we've had an 8-9% increase in admissions, which has put incredible pressure on our workforce -not just the frontline but administration staff, nurses, laundry staff,” DrHetherington said.

"We do expect that to continue.

"We've had zero wait time for outpatients and elective surgery for close to 18 months and that quality of service attracts more business.

"We're hoping to have a better flow of patients and better consulting areas in the new ED that we're funding out of previous surpluses.

"Those improvements will make it easier for the staff and if you can decrease stress and make it safer for them, it's better for everyone.”

The ED - expected to be ready by mid-2018 - will include two new treatment bays, a pediatric resuscitation bay, isolation room with ensuite, and a mental health assessment room.

Five exam rooms will be replaced with four assessment bays, one triage bay, one triage or QAS bay and a triage room.

Dr Hetherington said the upgrades were a huge boost for the hospital following the kitchen renovations and the instalment of a CT scanner in the past year.



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