Code White for emergency departments

Acute overcrowding in the Emergency Departments of Adelaide’s northern hospitals highlights the ongoing impact of Transforming Health.

SA Health’s own online data shows the Emergency Department at the Lyell McEwin Hospital was at or over capacity for more than 50 hours straight on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

For more than half of that period, the Lyell McEwin ED was Code White – including two stretches of where it was continuously Code White for 15 hours or longer. Down the road the Modbury Hospital ED was concurrently operating at Code White for long stretches.

“The emergency departments of northern Adelaide are becoming more dangerous for patients and staff,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“Beyond the emergency department the Lyell McEwin Hospital is also struggling to accommodate inpatients. At noon yesterday, it had 427 inpatients, stretching its 377-bed capacity to breaking point.

“Modbury had the same problem with 139 patients crammed into a hospital with a 120-bed capacity.

“These figures expose as a lie the Weatherill Government’s claim that the performance of Adelaide’s major hospitals is improving.

“This sustained overcrowding also highlights the danger inherent in the Weatherill Government’s plans to ramp down the current RAH in preparation for the shift to the new hospital on September 5.

“The shift down North Terrace is premised on transferring most of the RAH’s inpatients to other hospitals.

“If Adelaide’s other hospitals are overflowing with patients at the very moment they are meant to be taking hundreds of patients from the RAH something is bound to give.”