In 2014, almost 70,000 people presented at Westmead Hospital’s emergency department, part of the increasing demand for health services driven by our growing and ageing population.
The new hospital building will include a purpose-built emergency department, but in the meantime our existing Emergency Short Stay Unit (ESSU) and Health Care for Older People Earlier (HOPE) unit was expanded. Work started in 2015 and was completed in early 2016.
The ESSU provides care for people who are likely to be discharged but who require extended assessment or interventions.
More than 85% of short stay patients go home within 24 hours, avoiding the need for a complex hospital admission.
Similarly, the HOPE unit provides a dedicated treatment area for people over 70 years of age, enabling staff to move elderly patients quickly out of the general emergency department for specialist assessment and fast track admission, or treatment and discharge.
Expanding the ESSU/HOPE unit in the immediate future will relieve ongoing pressure caused by rapidly increasing demand over the next five-year period.
When the Emergency Department moves into the new hospital building, we’ve planned ahead for the current ESSU/HOPE unit to be repurposed for the outpatients (ambulatory care) expansion.
More than 85% of emergency short stay patients go home within 24 hours, avoiding the need for a complex hospital admission.
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The number of people in Western Sydney Local Health District aged 70 or more will more than double in the next 20 years from about 58,000 in 2011 to more than 136,000 in 2031 (that's a 134% increase).