A GLOBAL pandemic and a cybersecurity attack saw the south-west's leading healthcare service endure a year like no other.
Patient numbers, births, emergency department admissions and surgeries were all down, but the Warrnambool Base Hospital was busier than it's ever been, says chief executive Craig Fraser.
Nearly 1500 less people presented to the emergency department.
700 less surgeries were performed, seeing nights spent in SWH's Rotary House Warrnambool accommodation by patients and family nearly halved.
There were 1277 patients on the elective surgery waiting list.
3500 less public dental patients were seen.
42,817 less patient meals were prepared.
However close to 5000 people were screened for COVID-19 at SWH's respiratory assessment clinics.
Mental health contact increased by 2275 hours.
The hospital had a $212.5 million operating revenue, the biggest in the local economy and its history, up $13.6 million on last year.
By June 30 this year it had a $3.91 million surplus, also the largest in its history.
Expenses increased by more than $11,000 to $220.8 million.
Mr Fraser said it was difficult to gather the full picture of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic because figures only reflected the financial year - June 30 2019 to June 30 2020.
"It's kind of cut off in the middle," he said. "Next year's annual report will be interesting because it will show the second half of this year.
"An operating surplus of $3.91m - 1.8 per cent of operating revenue - was achieved and this strong result ensures the financially sustainable position we've built over many years is maintained and allows us to invest in modern equipment.
"As detailed through this report, we remain innovative and focused on responding to the rapidly changing health needs of the community we serve."
$828,000 was raised and donated to the hospital.
Staff numbers rose, with 27 more full-time equivalent staff.
226 occupational violence incidents involving abuse, threat or assault were reported by staff over the year.
The average cost per Work Cover claim almost doubled this financial year, from $12,646 to $23,765.
It received a 95.1 per cent patient satisfaction rating for overall care and out-performed the Victorian average in all quality and safe care indicators.
Responding to COVID-19
SWH's response to COVID-19 saw a range of measures including the doubling of intensive care beds, construction of new wards and testing clinics, partnerships with local businesses to make hand sanitiser, more equipment and an extra cooked chill-food storage.
On March 19, the Warrnambool Base Hospital admitted the only COVID-positive patient it would care for before June 30.
It transformed a rehabilitation gym to a commissioned six-bed COVID intensive care unit, the short stay unit to a 20-bed COVID unit for COVID and suspected COVID patients, and a disused ward to a commissioned 20-bed unit.
The reduction in elective surgery to preserve limited personal protective equipment and free up beds saw the hospital team up with St John of God Warrnambool who collaborated for more then 450 elective surgery patients to be treated at its private facility.
Telehealth use increased by 50 per cent.
"Of the 2159 cases recorded in Victoria, of which 20 people have died, 250 live regionally. Of these 250, six have come from our catchment area," Mr Fraser said.
"We are immensely proud of how we've responded to the world's largest public health crisis. By any measure, our actions have been rapid, decisive and proactive.
"We've demonstrated the very best of true community leadership in a time of anxiety and uncertainty. More importantly, we have all helped saved lives."
Consisting of two public hospitals, a mental health services division, an aged care facility and five community health centres, in 2019-20 SWH provided more than 150 medical, nursing, mental health, allied health and community health services to the 110,000 people who live in Warrnambool, Moyne, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and Glenelg.
- Warrnambool Base Hospital receives hundreds of millions for redevelopment
- South West Healthcare named 2019 Premier's Health Service of the Year
- Cyber attack impacting south-west hospitals
- South West Healthcare unveils new environment management plan
- 2019 annual report shows increasing costs, demand
- South West Healthcare nurses test hundreds of abattoir workers
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