Health 2016

NSW Health again met targets across all triage categories

NSW Health, on average, met the emergency department triage response time targets across all triage categories in 2015–16 for the third consecutive year. This is a key finding of a report released today by the New South Wales Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford.

Ms Crawford said, 'Overall, NSW hospitals are doing well meeting triage targets despite the continued increase in emergency department attendances'.

Emergency treatment performance not improving

NSW Health maintained its overall emergency treatment performance in 2015–16, but did not achieve its target of 81 per cent of patients leaving emergency departments within four hours. The State average emergency treatment performance was 74.2 per cent (74.3 per cent in 2014–15). 'The rate of patients leaving NSW emergency departments within four hours is not improving despite this being a priority of the Premier', the Auditor-General said.

Financial reporting continues to improve

The Health cluster continues to improve the quality of financial reporting in recent years. The number of misstatements has fallen from 109 in 2013–14 to 35 in 2015–16. 'Health entities controlled by the Ministry of Health continued to submit financial statements for audit well ahead of the statutory deadlines', Ms Crawford commented.

Workforce management and control issues continue

Unapproved employee timesheets is a continuing problem for health entities. Weak approval controls are increasing the risk of staff claiming and being paid for hours they have not worked. They are also resulting in high volumes of roster adjustments, manual pays, salary overpayments and instances of leave not being recorded accurately.

Ambulances responding and patients transferred to emergency departments faster

NSW Ambulance response times for potentially life threatening cases improved to 11.0 minutes in 2015–16 (11.2 minutes in 2014–15). 'Despite improving, response times still remain slower than the target of 10 minutes', Ms Crawford commented.

The percentage of patients transferred from ambulances to hospital emergency departments in the 30 minute ‘transfer of care’ timeframe also improved in 2015–16. The State average 'transfer of care' performance of 87.6 per cent (84.5 per cent in 2014–15) is still below the 90 per cent target.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664 and email