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May 10, 2021

Northern Rivers hospitals are loved by patients

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Some of the awesome cleaning staff at BCH Janet, Pat (at rear), Lea-Anne, Dave, and Debbie. The Byron hospital recorded the highest result in the state (93 per cent) for cleanliness of the wards and rooms. Photo supplied.

No one would argue that the frontline staff at our local hospitals are stellar and that patient care is of the utmost importance to those who are working hands-on in facilities in the area. This has been validated according to the latest Bureau of Health Information report which says Northern NSW hospitals are saying their hospital care as being among the best in the state.

Results from the 2018 Adult Admitted Patient Survey released this morning show that patients in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) continue to report high levels of satisfaction with their hospital experience, staff and facilities.

NNSWLHD Chief Executive, Wayne Jones said if asked by family and friends about their hospital experience, 84 per cent of patients said they would speak highly, while 76 percent rated their overall care as very good, both results equalling the highest in NSW.

‘These results are a testament to the continued hard work and dedication of our staff,’ said Mr Jones. ‘Their commitment to patient-centred care shows through year after year and it’s great to see this continuing to be reflected in the positive experiences of our patients.’

More patients in NNSWLHD rated their nurses as ‘very good’ than anywhere else in the state, (85 per cent), while at Casino and District Memorial Hospital the figure was 90 per cent.

Across NNSWLHD, 90 per cent of patients felt they were ‘always’ treated with dignity and respect, the highest result in NSW.

The District also recorded the equal highest proportion of patients (83 per cent) reporting their wards or rooms were ‘very clean’.

At Byron Central Hospital, this figure was 93 per cent, the highest individual hospital result in the state.

A team effort

‘Every one of our staff rely on someone else doing the best they can to ensure our patients receive excellent care and having such dedicated domestic services staff has a really positive effect on the patient experience,’ said Mr Jones.

‘This year’s results are heartening because they build on the positive patient experience results from the 2017 Adult Admitted Patient Survey.

‘In 2018 we saw record numbers of patients coming through our doors, but our staff are continuing to prioritise patient-centred care, and treating our community with compassion and dignity.’

Between mid-2012 and mid-2019, the NNSWLHD increased its workforce by an additional 843 full time equivalent staff, an increase of 22.4% including 157 more doctors, 280 more nurses and midwives and 114 more allied health staff.

The 2019-20 budget for Northern NSW Local Health District is over $875 million, this is an increase of more than $37 million on the 2018-19 budget.

Individual hospital results are:

Ballina District Hospital: Recorded a significantly higher result than NSW for time spent in the Emergency Department, with 90 per cent of patients reporting it was ‘about right’ compared to 67 per cent for NSW. 83 per cent of patients reported the wards or rooms were ‘very clean’ compared to 71 per cent for NSW.

Byron Central Hospital: Recorded the highest result in the state (93 per cent) for cleanliness of the wards or rooms, and 83 per cent of patients rated their nurses as ‘very good.’

Casino & District Memorial Hospital: Had a significantly higher result for cleanliness of toilets and bathrooms, with 81 per cent saying they were ‘very clean’, compared to 63 per cent for NSW. 90 per cent of patients rated nurses as ‘very good’. At Casino 82 per cent of patients said care at the hospital was ‘very well organised’ significantly higher than the NSW result of 66 per cent, and 85 per cent of respondents would speak highly of their experience to family and friends.

Grafton Base Hospital: At Grafton 85 per cent of patients rated their nurses as ‘very good’. Grafton had 80 per cent of patients said toilets and bathrooms were ‘very clean’, while 76 per cent of patients rated their overall care as ‘very good’.

Lismore Base Hospital: Had a significantly higher result for cleanliness of the wards or rooms, 85 per cent said they were ‘very clean’, and 75 per cent of patients rated their care as ‘very good’ overall. 83 per cent of patients rated their nurses as ‘very good’.

The Tweed Hospital: At the Tweed faciloty 77 per cent of patients rated their overall care as ‘very good’ significantly higher than the NSW result of 67 per cent, and 87 per cent rated their nurses as ‘very good’, also significantly above the NSW result.

Maclean District Hospital: Had a significantly higher result for cleanliness of the wards or rooms, with 88 per cent saying they were ‘very clean’ and 97 per cent of patients reporting that emergency department staff were ‘always’ polite and courteous. At Maclean 86 per cent of patients said they would speak highly of their experience to family and friends.

Murwillumbah District Hospital: Had significantly higher results than the NSW average for nine questions, with 91 per cent of patients rating their nurses as ‘very good’, the equal second highest result for any hospital in NSW, and 81 per cent rated their overall care as ‘very good.’ Murwillumbah also had 93 per cent of those surveyed saying they would speak highly of their hospital experience to family and friends and 87 per cent said hospital wards and rooms were ‘very clean’. The also had 76 per cent who said they felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment.

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