State’s worst hospitals for ramping
THREE of the state's busiest hospitals have been singled out for massive increases in ramping in February prior to the coronavirus.
Sunshine Coast University Hospital recorded the largest rise in the state with a 24 per cent leap in patients left on ambulance stretchers compared to January.
That equated to nearly one in every two patients, or 48 per cent, taken to the hospital being stuck on an ambulance stretcher for more than the stipulated 30 minutes.
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the state's largest with more than 1000 beds, recorded an 8 per cent increase in ramping cases in February with 44 per cent of patients there on stretchers for more than 30 minutes.
Logan Hospital came in as the state's second worst, after it recorded a massive 8000 patients presenting to the hospital's emergency department in February, many checking in with coronavirus fears.
Of those, 326 did not wait for treatment.
Data from Logan Hospital Emergency Care for the month showed a 3 per cent surge in patients ramped on ambulance stretchers at Logan for longer than the stipulated 30 minutes, compared to January.
Presentations to Logan's emergency department rose by 10 per cent in February across all categories, compared to the same month last year.
Queensland Health said rising demand during February put pressure on all hospital emergency departments, including Logan, even before the additional workload created by the pandemic.
As well as seeing more patients, Logan provided care to more critically unwell patients, with a 41 per cent increase in Category 1 presentations.
Opposition Health spokeswoman Ros Bates said the state was not planning for growth as it cut the hospital building budget by $203 million.
"Labor's wasted millions on failed IT projects and renaming the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital was the wrong priority," she said.
"Ambulance ramping was at record levels before coronavirus began, in another symptom of a health system in crisis."
But Queensland Health said hospital budgets were well planned and announced a year in advance and the naming of Queensland Children's Hospital cost just over $300,000.
In the 2019-2020 financial year, Metro South had an operating budget of $2.566 billion, an increase of $157.4 million from the published 2018-19 operating budget of $2.408 billion.
For the same period, Logan Hospital and Logan Community Services had a budget of $450.5 million, an increase of $32.9 million from the 2018-2019 operating budget of $417.6 million.
In an effort to cut ramping at Logan, Queensland Health has allowed some ambulance staff to be located in the Metro South Health Patient Access co-ordination Hub and has hired some Transfer Initiative Nurses to keep patient flows in the emergency departments.
Originally published as State's worst hospitals for ramping