Media release 20 April 2018
1. Can you let me know how busy your ED has been this year?
In January this year we had more than 10% higher patient numbers than the same time last year. To put this into perspective, that means that each day Middlemore ED saw 30 more patients than expected.
2. What is the maximum capacity in terms of patient numbers?
Our emergency department is expected to see all patients that arrive at any given time. Depending on the numbers that present, this can impact on wait times
3. Has ED reached or exceeded capacity this year? How often has this happened?
See question two
4. What do you attribute this to?
The effects of the socio economic make-up of Counties Manukau which includes, but is not restricted to, population growth including the largest number of young people in the country, an increasing aging population, obesity, heart health, respiratory distress etc
5. What measures do you take when this happens?
We reprioritise care to our sickest patients. We also encourage people to choose the most appropriate care for them. This might mean visiting their family doctor, calling the 24-hour Healthline phone service or visiting their nearest Accident and Medical clinic.
6. What are the associated risks with exceeding capacity?
We will always prioritise according to ‘life and limb’ threatening patients. This may mean that other patients will have to wait longer for treatment