Nurse holding patient's hand

Improving service levels in hospitals

Published 14th July, 2017

81 per cent of patients through emergency departments within four hours by 2019

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

Timely access to care in emergency departments can lead to improved health outcomes for patients, as well as reduce or avoid hospital stays.

Every year, the number of people using emergency departments increases - more than one in five adults and one in four children present at hospital at least once a year.

Despite the growing number of people accessing emergency departments, our hospitals strive for top patient care within reasonable and clinically safe timeframes.

A white emergency cross on a red background

In 2015-2016, nearly two million people were through emergency departments in less than four hours.

How are we tracking?

In 2015-16 the percentage of patients through an emergency department within four hours was 74.2 per cent, equating to an additional 50,000 patients leaving the emergency department in four hours or less, when compared to 2014-15. That is approximately 130 people through in four hours every day. 

What are we doing?

Investing in health services

Between 2015 and 2019, we will meet additional statewide demand with:

  • funding for 320,000 additional people to use emergency departments
  • $60 million for integrated healthcare via local health districts
  • $32 million in community-based palliative care services, which gives patients the option to continue home-based care
  • $16 million for successful preventative health programs including the Get Healthy Service, Get [email protected] and Go4Fun, to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Better access to healthcare services

The Whole of Health Program is a patient-centered approach to improve access to healthcare and patient-flow within our public hospitals.

Integrated healthcare

We are delivering healthcare in the hospital, community and at home.

With an ageing population and a growing number of people living with chronic or complex health conditions, demands on the health system are increasing. 

Integrated care delivers routine, seamless treatment to make sure a person’s health needs, from prevention through to end-of-life, are being met with coordinated care from both within and outside of hospital.

What can you do?

Staying healthy

Choose the right care

As our emergency departments must treat serious cases first, you can avoid a lengthy wait by using other services first.

  • Healthdirect is a free health information and advice service online and over the telephone, on 1800 022 222 anytime (24 hours 7 days a week).
  • The online symptom checker guides you toward the best health service for your needs.
  • Regular contact with a GP helps find health problems before they become an emergency.

Is your urgency an emergency?

NSW Ambulance’s campaign Is your urgency an emergency? is about changing expectations. Just as every patient who presents to an emergency department is not admitted to hospital, not every patient who calls Triple Zero (000) needs a stretcher, an ambulance or a paramedic.

Published 14th July, 2017