Patients with minor injuries staying away from emergency department | Graph

SERIOUS BUSINESS: The Orange Hospital Emergency Department is seeing less patients with minor injuries.
SERIOUS BUSINESS: The Orange Hospital Emergency Department is seeing less patients with minor injuries.

The number of patients with minor injuries going to the Emergency Department at Orange hospital has fallen by about 10 per cent in the past year.

New figures for NSW hospitals show that people are heeding a public education campaign urging people with cut fingers, the common cold and other minor complaints to avoid clogging up casualty wards.

The Bureau of Health Information (BHI) showed 209 less people with non-urgent minor injuries visited the Orange Emergency Department in October-December 2016 compared to the same time the previous year.

A Western NSW Local Health District spokesman said the result was pleasing.

“The reduction in presentations is encouraging to see as the Local Health District has recently commenced a campaign to educate the community about when and where people should seek healthcare, so as they receive the most appropriate care, in the right place and at the right time,” he said.

“HealthDirect Australia operate a 24 hour telephone health advice line [1800 022 222 for non-emergencies] staffed by registered nurses to provide fast and simple expert advice on health issues.”

The spokesman said Orange Health Service was encouraged by overall health figures that showed it maintained or slightly improved results in many areas.

However, the number of patients who spent four hours or less in the emergency department fell from 74.6 per cent to 73 per cent when compared to the previous July-September quarter.

The spokesman said this was due to more patients going to casualty in the October-December quarter which he said required more resources.

At Orange patients spent an average of 16 minutes waiting for treatment at the emergency department, the same as at Bathurst Base Hospital but much quicker than Dubbo Base Hospital [22 minutes].

And 96 per cent of patients arriving by ambulance were transferred into hospital care at Orange within 30 minutes – which was better than Bathurst [87 per cent] and Dubbo [91 per cent].