Portland District Health’s Urgent Care Centre is committed to serving the local community but record numbers of patients are putting pressure on the service.
PDH UCC Nurse Unit Manager Deb Tozer said that presentations were increasing annually. “In the winter of 2020 we managed 600 presentations per month to our unit, fast forward to 2022 and that number has increased to almost 900 monthly,” Ms Tozer said. Many factors are driving the increased presentations including Covid 19, seasonal influenza and viruses and local GP shortages. “We want to reassure the community that if they need a doctor in a life threatening emergency we are ready, willing and able to help in a timely manner,” Ms Tozer said. “However, we ask people to be aware that the increased demand means that non-urgent cases waiting times may be longer than normal.”
Patients attending UCC are assessed by a trained emergency nurse, with priority given to the sickest patients. This may lead to times where you notice other patients being seen ahead of you. If presentations are not life threatening, people are urged to consider the raft of other options available.
PDH encourages local people to see their GP if they can, to consider Telehealth support options, and also consider Warrnambool’s new respiratory clinic. Ms Tozer said the PDH UCC delivers high quality and safe nursing and medical care to Portland and district residents.
“Our staff are highly skilled and care about their community, we ask that in return our community support them to do their job by remaining patient and understanding at these times of unprecedented demand,” she added.
Picture: Deb Tozer and urgent care centre nurse Holly Marsh.