Elective Surgery Access Coordinator
(03) 9784 8585
Waiting List Office
(03) 9784 7803
About Elective Surgery
As the population on the Peninsula increases, so does the demand for planned (elective) surgery. Also, the number of emergency patients, many of whom need admission, increases every year. Our community’s higher than average population of people over 65 requires more surgical services in areas like Urology and Orthopaedics. The schedules of surgeons practicing in our region are almost always at capacity. New surgical procedures are being developed all the time to treat an ever expanding range of conditions. Surgery is now safer than ever, making it a more acceptable option to more people. All these factors impact on how long our consumers wait for planned surgery.
Peninsula Health endeavours to treat all patients on the waiting list in a timely manner. All patients placed on the waiting list are allocated a category of urgency by their Surgeon. Waiting times can also vary depending on the particular surgical speciality.
Category 1 – Urgent – People who require urgent surgery. Usually admitted within 30 days of placement on the waiting list
Category 2 – Semi-Urgent – People who require less urgent surgery. Whilst all Health Services endeavour to treat these people within 90 days, this is not always possible.
Category 3- Non Urgent – People requiring non-urgent surgery. No recommended waiting time allocated.
If your condition significantly alters or deteriorates, the Surgeon may upgrade your category accordingly. Please discuss this with your General Practitioner.
At Peninsula Health we strive to ensure you receive the treatment you need in as short a time as possible. For our consumers and for us – it’s sometimes longer than we would wish. So we continue to attack the problem on all fronts by:
- using hospital beds and operating theatres more efficiently
- offering surgical options at partner hospitals through the Elective Surgery Access Service (ESAS)
- increasing surgical services at Rosebud Hospital
- ensuring patients are fit and ready for surgery through pre-admission clinics, thus reducing last minute cancellations
- making pre-surgery reminder calls
- adding extra interim care beds to help reduce the use of scheduled elective surgery ward beds for emergency patients
- and many other strategies including the expansion of our Admission/Discharge Lounge.
A recent initiative is the appointment of an Elective Surgery Access Coordinator (ESAC) to provide extra support for patients waiting for surgery. This position has been funded by the Department of Human Services. We have appointed one of our senior nurses to this important role.
A major facet of this role will be looking at the options available to patients who have excessive waiting times. There may be opportunities for such patients to have their surgery at another hospital. Indeed we have already been able to have many of our patients awaiting joint replacement and cataract surgery treated faster at other hospitals. This has been achieved through the Elective Surgery Access Service established by DHS in 2002. To date 314 people have taken up this option and been treated successfully.
Early 2004 data showed that most of our cataract surgery was now being done at the Cranbourne Regional Eye Centre and that many local GPs were referring their patients directly to the Centre, which is administered by Southern Health. So in partnership with Southern Health, we transferred all our cataract surgery to Cranbourne. Now patients can access their surgery in about two months instead of 18.
Peninsula Health also strives to minimise the number of Hospital Initiated Postponements, but occasionally people may find themselves postponed on the day of surgery. We endeavour to provide you with another date for surgery before leaving the hospital.