Canberra Hospital and Health Services overview

Canberra Hospital and Health Services (CHHS) provides acute, sub-acute, primary and community-based health services to the ACT and surrounding region through its key service divisions: Surgery, Oral Health and Imaging; Women, Youth
and Children; Critical Care; Cancer, Ambulatory and Community Health Support; Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Care; Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Service; Pathology; Medicine; and Clinical Support.

The key strategic priority for acute services is to deliver timely access to effective and safe hospital care services.

A significant achievement in 2013-14 was the opening of Stage 2 of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children in December 2013, bringing services for women and children under one roof, including paediatrics and specialised outpatient services, maternity, birthing, gynaecology and fetal medicine, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Special Care Nursery. It has set a benchmark for women's, paediatric and newborn care within Australia.

Community health centres

ACT Health completed construction of Belconnen Community Health Centre in September 2013. The centre was officially opened and a community open day held in November 2013.

Refurbishment and expansion of the Tuggeranong Community Health Centre was completed in March 2014. Services recommenced and a community open day was held in March 2014.

The community health centres provide expanded health services to assist people to manage acute and chronic conditions in the community.

Walk-in centres

ACT Health fulfilled the ACT Government's election commitment to double the number of nurse-led walk-in centres(WiC), following the closure of the WiC on the Canberra Hospital (TCH) campus on 25 June 2014.

The TCH WiC demonstrated the model of care to be a safe and effective means of providing free, extended hours primary healthcare services to the public.

The Tuggeranong WiC opened to the public on 26 June 2014, and the Belconnen WiC opened on 1 July 2014.

National Elective Surgery Targets

As part of the National Elective Surgery Targets (NEST), the ACT was required to remove 11,000 people from the surgical waiting list in 2013-14.

Although the Canberra Hospital component of this target was 6300 removals, the hospital exceeded this target by delivering 6365 removals from the list. This contributed to the ACT meeting eight of the nine components of the NEST targets in 2013.

Moreover, Canberra Hospital is currently admitting 100 per cent of the most urgent, category 1 patients within the clinically recommended timeframe of 30 days.

Canberra Hospital Emergency Department performance

Canberra Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) had a total of 70,614 presentations in 2013-14, up by 7 per cent and the highest number of presentations for a year on record. Admissions to hospital via the ED also grew, with almost 24,000 admissions or 7 per cent growth in 2013-14.

Despite this increased demand, Canberra Hospital's ED timeliness for patients seen continued to improve. Overall triage category timeliness for 2013-14 was 54 per cent, a 9 per cent improvement when compared with the same period last year, and the best result for this indicator since 2004-05.

National Emergency Access Target (NEAT)

Canberra Hospital significantly reduced waiting times for patients in the ED against the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). NEAT measures the proportion of patients who are either admitted to hospital or discharged from the ED within four hours of presenting.

Canberra Hospital's NEAT result improved in 2013, reaching 54 per cent, which is consistent with results of other similar-sized hospitals around the country. In the first six months of 2014, Canberra Hospital again improved its NEAT result, achieving 58 per cent.

The number of patients waiting to be seen by a doctor who actually leave before being seen reduced considerably in 2013-14. The 'did not wait' rate was 6 per cent, a 3 per cent improvement when compared with 2012-13. The result is particularly impressive for Canberra Hospital, given the increase in demand over 2013-14.

Public dental waiting list

Another significant achievement for CHHS was a reduction in the public dental waiting list.

Funding received under the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) has increased workforce capacity and the utilisation of the private sector to reduce public dental waiting lists.

The ACT was allocated $5.5 million over three years in January 2013. By June 2014, the Dental Health Program met baseline NPA activity targets, attracting an additional $2.5 million in 2013-14.

At 30 June 2014, there were 932 people waiting for non-urgent restorative dental services, compared to 1659 clients on the waiting list at 30 June 2013 and 2310 clients on the waiting list at 30 June 2012. The actual waiting time for restorative treatment at 30 June 2014 was three months, compared to 7.73 months at 30 June 2013 and 12.01 months at 30 June 2012.

The denture waiting list has also been reduced considerably, with 24 people waiting at 30 June 2014. The waiting time is now at 1.78 months, compared to 13.79 months at 30 June 2013 and 14.91 months at 30 June 2012.