Long-overdue centre cuts wait for patients

AN urgent care centre and refurbished emergency department are just what the doctor ordered for Mount Druitt Hospital.

Waiting times for patients requiring minor treatment and procedures have dropped since the urgent care centre opened in mid-June.

The centre consists of nine treatment spaces for the fast-track assessment, treatment and discharge of patients who don't need to be hospitalised.

Patients who need treatment for fractures, cuts, muscles pains, sprains, gastro and other minor ailments are seated in a separate area to those requiring more serious attention.

About 20-30 patients are referred there daily.

"This centre was needed two years ago," emergency medicine director Reza Ali said.

"Patients are no longer waiting five to six hours for a simple thing and can be quickly discharged back into the community.

"The staff are happier as they're no longer treating patients in corridors or the waiting room."

Nursing unit manager Katushka Saint-Clair said patients now had designated areas where nurses could be more effective in managing them.

A staff room was transformed into a paediatric procedure room which will soon have a TV to distract young patients while a similar room for adults will soon be ready.

"Of the 35,000 presentations to the emergency department each year, more than 25 per cent are paediatrics," Dr Ali said.

"You don't need screaming and yelling patients distracting others. It reduces the risk of error and provides better care for paediatric patients."

Stage one of the Mount Druitt redevelopment is almost complete with a 100-space carpark due to be ready by the end of the year.

Have you been treated at the new facilities yet? Your voice at stmarysstar.com.au.

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