Fremantle and Fiona Stanley hospitals sharing the load

Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Fiona Stanley Hospital.

ELECTIVE surgery wait lists are expected to ease as Fremantle Hospital takes on new services in the face of larger than expected patient numbers at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Gynaecological cases and elective surgeries for ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions were recently handed to Fremantle Hospital.

When Fiona Stanley Hospital opened in February 2015, then Health Minister Kim Hames said the new ED would see about 95,000 patients a year.

The Department of Health’s annual report showed the hospital treated more than 100,000 patients in its first year of operation, performing 22,600 surgeries, including 12,600 elective surgeries.

Paul Forden is the new executive director of Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, which includes the two hospitals and the nursing post on Rottnest Island.

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He said the success of a hospital was measured through patient outcomes, so it was important that any change delivered the safest, most effective care and ensured patients had a positive hospital experience.

Elective surgery waitlist figures released by the Department of Health last Tuesday showed there was a backlog of patients waiting to be assessed at FSH.

Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller welcomed the move.

“We hope that Fremantle Hospital will now have a second lease on life to reduce elective surgery wait times,” he said.

“In hindsight, the relocation of services from Fremantle Hospital to Fiona Stanley Hospital was a little heavy-handed.”

Fremantle became a 300-bed specialist hospital in 2015 when its tertiary services moved to FSH. Maternity and gynaecological services moved to FSH after Kaleeya Hospital in East Fremantle was closed.

Fremantle’s Emergency Department transformed into a day procedure unit providing elective surgeries including orthopaedics, ophthalmology and plastics.

These services are now being refined to ensure they are working as effectively as possible and making the best use of available space.

“Alongside other specialties, we will continue to develop and improve our mental health services which have provided vital services to the south metropolitan community for years,” Mr Forden said.

“Fremantle has a rich heritage and is an important part of the surrounding community. However, the way we care for patients is changing with advancements in medical technology and best practise. We need to be open to adapting our services to meet the changing needs of the community.

“Fremantle is perfectly placed to deliver state-of-the-art services for a number of clinical specialties complementary to Fiona Stanley Hospital.”