Patients head to Pambula

Pambula Hospital’s Assessment, Treatment and Care Clinic (ATCC) has had its busiest holiday season to date with more than 220 presentations in the period from December 24, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

The news follows the announcement by the Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) that a nurse practitioner would be available every day from 8am to 5pm at the Pambula Hospital ATCC. The clinic itself is open from 8am-8pm seven days a week.

The SNSWLHD has encouraged people to use Pambula Hospital and local surf life savers have also referred patients with marine stings to the ATCC for further treatment. A SNSWLHD spokeswoman confirmed that Pambula Hospital had more than 220 presentations. 

“Topping the list of presentations were 13 patients with earache. There have also been presentations for jellyfish stings, toothache, minor wounds and burns, and respiratory tract infections,” the spokeswoman said. 

Eleven patients were transferred to other hospitals for treatment, highlighting the SNSWLHD commitment to ensure no patients would be refused treatment but if the situation was serious would be stabilised and a pathway of care created.

President of Save Our Hospital Inc (SOHI) Sharon Tapcott said she was “amazed and delighted” over the numbers of patients choosing to attend Pambula Hospital.

“It proves what a good decision it is and goes to show the absolute need for an urgent care facility in the southern part of the shire,” Ms Tapscott said.

The nurse practitioner is able to treat triage 4 and 5 emergencies, suture wounds and write prescriptions is part of a four-month trial. Ms Tapscott has been advocating for a nurse practitioner at the hospital for a couple of years and believes the trial could lead to a permanent position. The nurse practitioner role comes on the back of $2.6 million of upgrades to the facility. 

Patients attending the ATC are either assessed, treated and discharged by the registered nurse; referred to a local GP medical service for further assessment or treatment; or transferred to South East Regional Hospital (SERH) for treatment.

“Patients seeking care for serious illness and injuries should go directly to SERH emergency department, Bega. Patients with life threatening conditions should contact an ambulance immediately on 000,” the SNSWLHD spokeswoman said.

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