Dr Peter Gillies.
Dr Peter Gillies. Bev Lacey

Toowoomba Hospital ED under-performing in some targets

THE region's health boss has conceded it is almost impossible to have all patients seen immediately in the Toowoomba Hospital's emergency department.

The November clinical statistics for Queensland's emergency departments revealed Toowoomba patients waited less than Queenslanders at many other regional facilities, but the hospital still failed to meet some targets set by the State Government.

Less than 70 per cent of category three patients - classified as those with "potentially life-threatening" illnesses - were seen within the recommended time of 30 minutes.

While that figure has increased since August's 52% result, it is still below the Queensland target of 75%.

Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service CEO Dr Peter Gillies said he was happy with the work of staff, adding that he was working on improving patient flow from the ED to other departments.

The number of "imminently life-threatening" category two patients seen within 10 minutes dropped from 87% to 82% in November, but was still above state targets.

Dr Gillies said even large emergency departments were susceptible to a powerful flu season or a sudden increase in serious accidents.

 "We want to be able to reach the targets, but with a relatively small emergency department, if you get multiple category twos that can be very difficult," he said.

"There are some patients that you won't get to within the 10 minutes.

"The reality is it's not always achievable, because you can't control emergencies and you can't gear up for situations that are rare."

Dr Gillies said the current size of the ED was "adequate", adding that the most recent flu season had been particularly tough for staff.

To check out the full stats, click here.


Patients who were seen within recommended wait times at Toowoomba's ED

 - Category 1 (recommended within two minutes): 100% (Target - 100%)

 - Category 2 (recommended within 10 minutes): 82% (Target - 80%)

 - Category 3 (recommended within 30 minutes): 68% (Target - 75%)

 - Category 4 (recommended within 60 minutes): 74% (Target - 70%)

 - Category 5 (recommended within two hours): 90% (Target - 70%)

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