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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 991..


Answers to questions

Hospitals—coronary care

(Question No 1468)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 28 February 2007:

(1) How many staff in the various health professional categories worked in coronary care wards in the ACT's public hospitals as at 31 December 2006;

(2) What changes have taken place in the (a) number and (b) types of staff who work in coronary care wards over the past four years;

(3) Have there been any further changes in the staffing of coronary care wards since 31 December 2006; if so, what changes have occurred;

(4) Have any changes been made to the work practices that have applied to the management of coronary care wards over the past four years; if so, when were these changes made and what did these changes involve.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Canberra Hospital coronary care unit had access to 12 doctors at 31 December 2006, comprising five staff specialists, one visiting medical officer, four medical registrars and two junior medical officers. Coronary care services at Calvary are provided in the joint Intensive Care/Coronary Care unit. This unit has access to six doctors full time, comprising four medical registrars, one senior medical registrar and senior specialist who is the director of the unit.

At 31 December 2006, The Canberra Hospital employed 33 full time equivalent registered nursing positions across the Coronary Care, Cardiac Catheter Laboratory and Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. In addition to these nurses, each of the coronary care services employed a Clinical Nurse Consultant to manage the nursing staff for each shift. The Calvary intensive care/coronary care unit employed a total of 29.7 full time equivalent nursing positions.

(2) There has been no change to nursing numbers over the last four years at The Canberra Hospital. At Calvary, nursing full time equivalent positions have increased within the intensive care/coronary care unit from 21.82 in February 2003 FTE Nursing staff to 29.7 FTE positions in March 2007. Medical staff numbers have remained constant.

(3) No.

(4) Practice changes in the Cardiac Catheter Laboratory over the past four years have been significant and have been a major contributor to improved patient outcomes and decreased length of stay of all CCU patient groups.

Over the past four years, the increased use of interventional cardiology services has changed the way in which coronary artery disease is managed.


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