What we are doing

Southern Health Expansion Plan

We are implementing

We have recently announced the Southern Health Expansion Plan which will boost health services in Southern Adelaide through a series of service moves by:

  • increasing emergency treatment by 30 more spaces at Flinders Medical Centre
  • creating state-of-the-art 12-bed facility at the Repat for patients with dementia and complex care needs
  • enhancing acute capacity in Noarlunga Hospital and increasing medical cover in the Emergency Department.

Priority Care Centres

We are implementing

We have opened Priority Care Centres across metropolitan Adelaide following a successful pilot program to ease pressure on our hospital Emergency Departments (EDs). During the pilot program, 1384 patients had attended a Priority Care Centre as of 20 December 2019. A further 536 patients have attending the Priority Care Centres in 2020.

Our SA Ambulance Service and our hospital ED staff offer this option to patients who could be cared for and treated in the community in a Priority Care Centre, rather than waiting at an ED, resulting in the patient receiving the care they need sooner.

Mental Health

We are implementing

  • We have increased mental health bed capacity at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital
  • A statewide Borderline Personality Disorder Collaborative has been established.
  • Construction has commenced on a specialised 18 bed Neurobehavioural Unit (NBU) at the reactivated Repat site.
  • SA Ambulance Service and Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) have partnered to commence a second phase of the Mental Health Co-Responder program. This program brings paramedics and mental health clinicians together to support consumers in the community where suitable, rather than transport them to an ED.
  • Planning has commenced for a Statewide Paediatric Eating Disorder Service and a Tier 7 Dementia Unit for Older Persons, both based at the reactivated Repat Health Precinct.

Transferring patients to free up beds

We are implementing

By transferring metropolitan inpatients to peri-urban hospitals, patients can receive ongoing care in an appropriate setting at times of peak demand, and help free up beds for acute and urgent care in metropolitan Adelaide.

Elective surgery

We are implementing

To ensure that beds are available for patients requiring acute or urgent care during times of peak demand, some patients scheduled for same day or overnight elective surgery may have their procedure temporarily postponed and rescheduled for a later date.

SA Hospital Discharge Project

We have implemented

As part of a project to assist in transferring long stay patients in acute beds to alternative non-acute care options. SA Health continues to work with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the department for Human Services on a SA Hospital Discharge Project to improve the timeliness of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) approvals, and the timely transition of inpatients to the community with NDIS supports.

As at 21 February, 176 patients  have been discharged from hospital through these projects. These 168 patients had a combined stay of 21,167 days since being medically cleared for discharge, with the longest patient waiting 600 days for services in the community.

Private partnerships

We have implemented

In July 2019, a new Patient Services Panel was established, which allows public hospitals to access services at private facilities. This more streamlined coordination of services will result in reduced waiting times for elective procedures and increased capacity in our public hospitals. The 13 private providers include day and overnight hospitals which will primarily assist with providing hospital services, such as elective surgery and rehabilitation, but also support during emergencies or major incidents.

Opening more beds

We have implemented

We’ve opened more hospital beds throughout the hospital networks, including:

  • 50 beds on the Repat site.
  • 12 beds at the Noarlunga Hospital Medical Short Stay Unit.
  • 8 bed Emergency Extended Care Unit (EECU) at Modbury Hospital.
  • 10 new forensic mental health beds at Glenside.
  • 10 new Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) beds at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
  • 5 bed Short Stay Mental Health Unit at Lyell McEwin Hospital.

Mobile Radiology Service

We have implemented 

In a first for South Australian public health services, South Australia Medical Imaging (SAMI) will roll out a new mobile radiology service, bringing x-ray equipment direct to nursing home residents. The mobile imaging service trial will support older patients in the southern suburbs who would otherwise require transport to a nearby hospital for an x-ray.

Hospital discharges

We have implemented 

We’ve introduced a new Statewide Hospital Criteria-Led Discharge plan to help patients return to their home as soon as possible, and reduce the pressure on our hospitals and EDs.

Home Hospital Pilot Programs

We have implemented 

Several Home Hospital Pilot programs have been introduced across metropolitan Adelaide, to enable suitable patients to be treated at home and save patients from unnecessary visits to hospital.

A total of 1,158 patients have been seen by a pilot programs as of 5 November 2019.

  • Central Adelaide LHN has also partnered with Calvary Private Hospital to trial a Modified Geriatric Rapid Acute Care Evaluation Service (GRACE), which aims to provide the best care for acutely unwell residents in Retirement and Aged Care facilities (RACF), in the most appropriate and familiar setting, and avoid an unnecessary transfer and/or admission to hospital.
  • Northern Adelaide LHN and Pop-Up Community Care have co-designed a program which aims to reduce ED presentations by linking certain patients with ongoing community supports, including General Practitioners.

SA Ambulance Service (SAAS)

We have implemented 

  • SAAS has undertaken a Scheduled Transport Development Program to improve the efficiency of the Patient Transport Service. This work, collaborating with the metropolitan LHNs, supports patient flow by assisting with timely discharges and assists in creating capacity within our hospitals.
  • SAAS has establised Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers (HALO) in each metropolitan LHN. These officers coordinate the SAAS support of patient flow, hospital discharges, and SAAS/LHN improvement projects. They provide timely liaison between the hospital and ambulance operations.
  • The SAAS Emergency Operations Centre has Health Network Coordinators (HNCs) who assist in the coordination of ambulance distribution among our hospitals. They actively manage any delays and support the sharing of capacity across the state’s health system.
  • Extended Care Paramedics provide the highest paramedic level clinical treatment, advice and support to assist people to remain in the community rather than attend hospital. ECPs focus in areas such as residential care, palliative care, community referral and support of out of hospital care programs. Within SAAS, they also provide clinical advice to ensure safe and effective ambulance care and referral across the state.
  • On 6 February 2020, a ‘Ramping Revisited’ workshop was held to identify common barriers to patient flow across metropolitan Adelaide. SA Ambulance Service will introduce a clinical telephone assessment in mid-2020 to ensure that patients receive the very best care and are able to access the most appropriate pathway for their needs. The initiative will also free up capacity to ensure ambulances are available to respond to emergencies and ease pressure on emergency departments.

Direct admissions to EDs

We have implemented 

An increased number of direct admissions means that more patients are being admitted directly to a ward and by-passing hospital EDs, which means less waiting for patients and reduced pressure on our EDs.

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