Safety report for Lyell McEwin due today

The State Liberals are concerned that the Lyell McEwin Hospital has not delivered sufficient improvement in conditions for patients and staff for two safety notices to be lifted by 5pm this afternoon.

On December 8 last year SafeWork SA issued two Improvement Notices on the Lyell McEwin’s management for contravening South Australia’s Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

When SafeWork SA took the extraordinary step of issuing an Improvement Notice against Health SA the Lyell McEwin’s emergency department was nine hours into a thirteen hour stretch where it was operating at code white non-stop.

“Critically there has been very little improvement in the performance of Lyell McEwin’s emergency department since the safety notices were issues,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

Since the 6th of February the Lyell McEwin emergency department has been Code White for an average of 10 hours a day. (Calculation based on data recorded for 12 of the last 15 days).

On at least 3 occasions during that time the Lyell McEwin’s emergency department has been continuously Code White for more than 10 hours straight.

“These figures show the Lyell McEwin’s ED has been pushed to breaking point on a regular basis since the Improvement Notices were issued putting patients and staff at undue risk,” said Mr Wade.

“Nor is the Lyell McEwin’s emergency department the only area of hospital dealing with dangerous overcrowding.

“All the Lyell McEwin’s inpatient beds have frequently been full and there have been large number of patients placed in wards not specific to their illness because there isn’t room to admit them to the ward most appropriate for their condition.

“Academic research has outliers (patients not admitted to the most appropriate ward) are 40% more likely to die in hospital than someone who is admitted to a ward specific to their condition.

“As just one snapshot of overcrowding at the Lyell McEwin on Tuesday 21 February at 11.00am the Hospital was 33 over capacity in General Beds and 12 over capacity on its All Beds number.

“This type of overcrowding represents a grave danger to patient health.”

Code White data:

The following are the collated Code White periods in the LMH ED over the last fortnight (Code White is when ED is overcrowded and every treatment bay is being used).

  • Monday 6 February: 6 hours straight (2pm+) 
  • Tuesday 7 February: 13 hours straight (1pm+) 
  • Wednesday 8 February: 9 hours straight (12pm+) 
  • Thursday 9 February: 4 hours straight (4pm+) 
  • Friday 10 February: 13 hours straight (3pm+) 
  • Saturday 11 February: 8 hours straight (10am+) followed by another 5 hours straight (6pm+) 
  • Sunday 12 February: 8 hours straight (1pm+) 
  • Monday 13 February: 11 hours straight (12pm+) 
  • Tuesday 14 February: 8 hours straight (11am+) followed by another 3 hours straight (10pm+) 
  • Wednesday 15 February: 7 hours straight (6pm+), plus one hour earlier in the day (4pm) 
  • Thursday, 16 February: at least 11 hours, including at least 9 hours straight (1pm+) 
  • Friday, 17 February: data not recorded 
  • Saturday, 18 February: data not recorded 
  • Sunday, 19 February: data not recorded 
  • Monday, 20 February: 11 hours straight (2pm+)