Visits to the Emergency department of Hunter New England Local Health District hospitals are the highest of any district in NSW with more than 100,000 presentations in July to September this year alone.
HNELHD officials said this number was an increase of about 4.6 per cent on the same time in 2020, while the presentations is also a marked a significantly higher number than Northern Sydney LHD, which had the second most visits at 68,000.
Armidale Hospital saw a 68.9 per cent increase in emergency presentations - with 146 additional presentations compared with the previous year, bringing the total to 358 presentations. There was also a significant increase (28 per cent) in patients requiring resuscitation.
Moree saw a decline in emergency presentations, but stark rises in urgent (18%) and non-urgent (52%) presentations at its Emergency department.
Inverell saw a 30 per cent climb in emergency presentations to 274 and almost a 40 per cent increase in urgent presentations to 772.
BHI Chief Executive Dr Diane Watson said across NSW emergency presentations were the highest since their records began in 2010.
"Although EDs were generally less busy, the 100,113 triage category 2 presentations [across NSW] were the highest of any July to September quarter since BHI began reporting in 2010.," Dr Watson said.
Inverell and Armidale had around 80 per cent of treatments started on time, while Moree fell a little behind at around 68 per cent on time, while Tamworth was the weakest performing in the HNELHD with just 58 per cent of presentations starting treatment on time.
HNELHD Chief Executive Michael DiRienzo said the latest Bureau of Health Information Health Care Quarterly report showed staff performed exceptionally well under pressure despite an almost 20 per cent leap in triage category 2 (emergency) presentations.
"The latest quarterly shows patients who presented to our hospitals between July and September were sicker and required more urgent attention compared with the same period last year."
The figures showed an increase of 2200 emergency presentations in the quarter from 11,300 last year to 13,500 this year.
Officials said it was the most challenging quarter of the year for medical staff following the COVID-19 delta outbreak, but top quality care was upheld.
"Our highly-trained staff took this increase in demand in their stride and continued to provide outstanding care," Mr DiRienzo said.
HNELHD performed 7,684 elective surgeries with 98 per cent of these procedures were performed on time, this is well ahead of the state average of 92.3 per cent.
The best performing hospitals include Armidale, Inverell, Moree, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Cessnock, Gunnedah, , Muswellbrook, Narrabri and Singleton, whose surgical performance is on par with or better than their peer group hospitals.
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