Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . .
have traditionally used bed occupancy as an annual figure throughout the year as a measure of performance. It is not a performance measure that is used in any other performance reporting either to the commonwealth or in our own reporting, but because of the interest in it I think that the accurate figure is a system-wide figure. My understanding is Calvary's bed occupancy has been lower than Canberra Hospital's so that brings the system-wide figure below what is being experienced at the Canberra Hospital on a day-to-day basis. I would also say in October there are school holidays, which is traditionally a quieter time for the hospital because the elective surgery list is shorter.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, for which hospitals, over which period and by what method was the reported 83 per cent bed occupancy rate calculated?
MS GALLAGHER: I am sorry, I did not hear the beginning of the question.
MADAM SPEAKER: I did not hear most of that, Mrs Jones. Could you do that again?
MRS JONES: Oh, dear! Normally I am very clear. Minister, for which hospitals, over what period and by what method was the reported 83 per cent bed occupancy rate calculated?
MS GALLAGHER: I think, in the interests of making sure the answers are accurate—and there is some speculation about some of the figures in the paper today—I will take that on notice and come back to the Assembly.
MRS JONES: Minister, is the Canberra Hospital bursting at the seams?
MS GALLAGHER: The Canberra Hospital is certainly very busy. It has been reporting hospital bed occupancy at 90 per cent and above for the last few months. Hopefully, it has peaked, but we are expecting that certainly it will peak over the next month, in our traditional busy period. I have to say that the opening of the extra beds in the hospital has assisted greatly in ensuring people are being seen promptly in the emergency department and being admitted to hospital in a timely way.
As members would know, on Sunday the emergency department saw 254 patients in a 24-hour period. Yesterday it was 238. Those are very high levels. Of that, about 24 per cent are being admitted to Canberra Hospital, which is equivalent to requiring about a 60-bed turnover during the day. So it is certainly busy. It is not bursting at the seams. There are available beds. I get a report in the morning that shows me that. But certainly staff are working incredibly hard there. There will be some additional beds that open this month as well, and again that will go to supporting the work of staff at the hospital.
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