Hervey Bay Emergency Department staff members - (L) Troy Fisher, Rod Davies, Cherie Tickner, Sara Towle, Justin Brenia, Rachael Nak, Jess Chappell and Gracemary Lang.
Hervey Bay Emergency Department staff members - (L) Troy Fisher, Rod Davies, Cherie Tickner, Sara Towle, Justin Brenia, Rachael Nak, Jess Chappell and Gracemary Lang. Alistair Brightman

Spike in Fraser Coast emergency presentations over Christmas

THIS Christmas was like any other for Hervey Bay Hospital nurse unit manager Troy Fisher and his staff.

Instead of unwrapping presents and having delicious food with their loved ones, they were hard at work at the hospital's emergency department, where hundreds of people were treated over the festive season.

Emergency staff had their hands full, with Hervey Bay Hospital experiencing a 23.8 per cent spike in presentations compared to the year before.

In Maryborough there was a 21.8 per cent increase and in Bundaberg there was a 13.5 per cent increase.

In total, 3160 patients were treated at Wide Bay emergency departments during the Christmas-New Year period.

December 27 was the busiest day at both Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, with 188 and 137 patients presenting at the respective departments.

At Maryborough Hospital, New Year's Day was the busiest, with 77 patients presenting.

WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington paid tribute to the hard-working staff who made sure the region's hospitals continued to deliver high-quality care all year round.

"I'd like to thank all our emergency department staff for their outstanding efforts throughout the Christmas and New Year period," Mr Pennington said.

"While our community celebrates Christmas and the new year with loved ones, our emergency teams are working even harder than normal due to the significant increase in patients coming through our doors.

"It's a real credit to our teams that they continue to provide such excellent care to our community in the face of significant additional pressure at this time of year.

"I'd also like to thank patients and their families and friends for their patience while they were attended to during what is a busy holiday period at our emergency departments."

Mr Fisher said he was proud of the efforts of his staff members.

"It was quite busy," he said. "All our staff worked together really well across that busy period."

Mr Fisher said staff didn't mind sacrificing their time during the holiday period to help others.

"It's one of those things that comes with the job working as a nurse," he said.

"You know you're going to be working those Christmas periods, those periods where other people are celebrating.

"But that's why we do the job, we enjoy nursing, we enjoy looking after people."

Mr Fisher said while doctor's surgeries were operating on skeleton staff over the festive season, that also meant more people seeking assistance at the hospital.

"It's something we were prepared for."