Emergency Department at Blayney Hospital at risk – Denton

CONCERNS: Lives could be risked with ambulances now diverted away from Blayney hospital, the Health Services Union says. Photo: FILE
CONCERNS: Lives could be risked with ambulances now diverted away from Blayney hospital, the Health Services Union says. Photo: FILE

Union officials say ambulances are being diverted away from the emergency department at Blayney Hospital with patients taken to larger regional hospitals as a temporary measure.

The claims, made by the Health Services Union, have been denied by a spokesperson for the Western NSW Local Health District.

A spokesperson for WNSWLHD said in a statement that the Blayney Health Service Emergency Department "is not closed to ambulance patients and there is no bypass directive".

According to the statement the department is "open 24 hours, seven days a week for medical emergencies and patients are triaged by highly-trained emergency nurses".

Blayney Labor Party councillor Scott Denton however said that he’s spoken to ambulance officers who have insisted that the trial was a reality and said that Blayney was facing a disaster.

“We’re only one step from someone losing their life,” he said.

“While the paramedics are transferring people to Bathurst or Orange, there’s no one here, and that’s not just bad for Blayney, but it’s dangerous for those in the outer villages like Barry and Neville.”

Cr Denton added that he was ‘flabbergasted’ at the notion to leave the residents of Blayney Shire without a proper service.

“This shire is growing and soon we may have a new mine in the shire, so this is just appalling.”

Country Labor Party candidate for the seat of Bathurst Beau Riley said that the “Blayney Hospital emergency department diversion trial” was the next step in the Berejiklian Government’s plan to downgrade Blayney Hospital.

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson issued a statement on the issue on Wednesday.

“NSW Ambulance works closely with all LHDs to ensure patients are transported to the most appropriate hospital for their clinical condition,” the spokesperson said.

“Local management are currently working with Western NSW LHD on pathways to improve patient care.

“NSW Ambulance has provided authority to local paramedics to make clinical decisions to transport patients to the hospital that best meet the patients clinical need reducing a subsequent inter-hospital transfer.

“There is no direction to by-pass one hospital over another where it is not clinically appropriate.”