NSW and Sydney Hospital Patients Satisfaction Levels Down

By Sophie Blackshaw
Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

A quarterly report detailing feedback from patients about New South Wales' hospitals' performance has been released, and the results are not as positive as in the past, with increasing demand and patients with more severe illnesses and injuries leaving less satisfied.

While the report overall was quite positive, Australian Medical Association NSW president Dr Saxon Smith said Indigenous patients, non-English speakers and those with chronic illnesses reported lower levels of satisfaction.

“Hospitals in Sydney’s west and southwest are experiencing big spikes in demand for more acute service," Dr Smith said.

“This is impacting not only on patient experience but, as we saw last week, on hospitals’ ability to meet targets for emergency department performance.

“For example, the state average increase in the number of patients in the two most urgent triage categories are 5 per cent for triage one and 7 per cent for triage two.

“Westmead’s emergency department received 15 per cent more triage one patients and 21 per cent more triage two patients in the last quarter – that’s three times the state average on both counts.

“This build-up of patient numbers has been happening year on year in NSW and western Sydney hospitals are copping the brunt of it.

“These hospitals and the doctors and nurses that staff them are performing very good work and providing high quality care for their patients.

“At the same time, it is entirely understandable that increased patient load with increased acuity of injury and illness would take its toll on both patient experience and a hospital’s ability to meet targets. “It shows that investment is needed in western Sydney hospitals so that their capacity reflects that of the populations they serve and the number of patients they see,” Dr Smith said.

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