HOSPITAL patients at facilities in the New England, North West are happy with their stay and the care they received in 2019-2020.
The latest statistics in the Bureau of Health Information's 2019-20 Rural Hospital Adult Admitted Patient Survey showed patients reported their overall experience was 'very good' or 'good'.
For example, 88 per cent of patients surveyed at Barraba Multi-Purpose Service would speak highly of their experience, and 76 per cent at Manilla Hospital would do the same.
District chief executive Michael DiRienzo said the survey was reflective of the hard work and dedication displayed by rural staff in caring for their local communities.
"The latest survey results for our rural hospitals are really positive and I am very proud of how our sites have performed," Mr DiRienzo said.
"As one of the largest local health districts, we are responsible for providing care to many regional and rural communities, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously."
Patients also felt they were treated with respect and dignity during their stay, too. Ninety per cent of Barraba patients said staff were always respectful, as well as 92 per cent of Quirindi Hospital patients.
However, some patients reported staff were not cleaning their hands enough.
At Quirindi, 22 per cent of survey participants didn't see health professionals wash or sanitise their hands before touching them.
At both Barraba and Manilla, 16 per cent of participants said the same thing.
Hunter New England Health executive director rural and regional health services Susan Heyman said there was always room for improvement.
"Infection control and hygiene is very important, it's important for all of us and there's definitely a heightened awareness. I think it's good that the public is watching and noticing that," she said.
"Of course we want to do better, and our results are very pleasing, but where there are opportunities, and there are always opportunities, we will always strive to be 100 per cent and do well with every patient."
On the other hand, the Walcha Multi-Purpose Service returned excellent results in the physical environment and comfort category, with 100 per cent of respondents reporting the areas they used while in hospital were 'very clean'.
The 2019-20 budget for HNEH was about $2.4 billion, an increase of about $72 million on the previous year. Between mid-2012 and mid-2020, the district increased its workforce by an additional 1237 full-time equivalent staff - an increase of 11.8 per cent.
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