The Gladstone Hospital emergency department had a spike in patients during the festive season.
The Gladstone Hospital emergency department had a spike in patients during the festive season.

800+ patients visit Gladstone ED during festive season

WITH Christmas and new year celebrations in full swing, Gladstone's emergency department dealt with an extra dose of patients, with hundreds of sick and injured people seeking help.

Between Christmas Day and yesterday, 847 people were seen at the emergency department, with the busiest day on December 27 with 125 patients.

It's almost 100 more than the same period last year, when 770 patients walked through the department's doors.

Emergency department director Dr Dilip Kumar said the facility was becoming consistently busier, highlighting the need for the completion of the new $42m emergency department.

"We always expect it to be busy at Christmas time, especially when many local GPs are on a break, but we try to roster extra staff on to help cope," Dr Kumar said.

He said there was no particular reason for the "hectic" days, with patients coming in for a range of reasons from minor to serious trauma cases.

On seven of the nine days between December 25 and January 2, at least 90 patients were seen daily.

In December the Queensland Government announced Woollam Constructions was awarded the contract for the main construction work on the new emergency department in Gladstone.

Described as the "most significant investment" in Gladstone Hospital in living memory, Mr Williamson said the new ED would include 36 treatment spaces, more than double the existing 15.

Earthworks are expected to be finished in March, and construction will follow.

CQ Health chief executive Steve Williamson said it was a busy end to a huge year for CQ's hospitals - in Gladstone, Rockhampton and Emerald.

Between January and November, 103,460 people attended CQ's emergency departments.

"Our teams are there night and day to care for members of our community and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication all year round," Mr Williamson said.

During the month of November, 10,650 people presented to CQ EDs, with the average wait time for treatment of 10 minutes.

"This is testament to the hard work of our staff on the floor who always put in an amazing effort to treat our patients," he said.

Reviewing other highlights during 2018, Mr Williamson said the completion of the new Step Up Step Down mental health facility in Gladstone would help give the region better health care.

The $12m new mental health unit in New Auckland is a 10-bed centre that has home-like amenities with 24-hour support.

It is run in partnership between CQ Health and mental health provider Mind Australia.



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