Gladstone Hospital’s emergency department had it’s busiest day in four years over the Christmas period.
Gladstone Hospital’s emergency department had it’s busiest day in four years over the Christmas period.

Hospital’s busiest day in four years

GLADSTONE Hospital’s emergency department has had its busiest day in the past four years.

On December 27, 134 patients attended the department during the one of the busiest times of year.

Between Christmas and January 2, there were 968 presentations, from stomach aches, rashes, coughs, sprains and strains, through to chest pain and major trauma.

In comparison, the biggest day over the holidays in 2018 had 125 patients in the department and a total of 847 over the same period.

Director of Emergency Medicine Dilip Kumar said there was no specific reason for the increased activity.

“ … Other than the fact that people are enjoying the holiday season which unfortunately leads to extra trips and falls, and fewer GPs in town and holiday closures mean more patients seek help at the hospital,” Dr Kumar said.

He said during the holiday season mental health presentations tended to be more common.

“While the holiday season is a time of great joy for many people, it is also a time of loneliness for others who don’t have family and loved ones to share it with,” he said.

“At this time the ED is also first port of call for people suffering with their mental health, and our staff are trained in finding the appropriate support systems available to them.”

He said the emergency service prepared for the busy time of year by rostering on more staff.

Gladstone Hospital’s new $42 million emergency department is to be complete by mid-year.

“(It) will provide a contemporary, built-for-purpose facility giving better flow, privacy and space for our patients and the staff who work hard treating them,” Dr Kumar said.

Once the department is open, work will begin on transforming the current emergency department into a specialist outpatient facility.

Emergency Department presentations:

December 25: 70

December 26: 94

December 27: 134

December 28: 113

December 29: 111

December 30: 129

December 31: 114

January 1: 90

January 2: 113