Portland District Health is recognised by the community as having an Emergency Department (ED) but in fact we are classified as an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) offering a 24 hour service for the Greater Glenelg Region.
The dedicated nursing staff and medical staff care for over approximately 11,000 patients annually. These include comparable numbers of critically ill patients to Southwest Healthcare as well as medical conditions, heart attacks, trauma and minor injuries. Approximately 18% of all presentations are children under the age of 18.
On average, 97% of patients that present to Portland District Health UCC are treated locally, keeping families together during times of illness and injury. Complex patients that require specialist care are able to be transferred in a timely fashion to the clinical expertise they require through our strong links with Melbourne hospitals and retrieval services. With the addition of the Helipad, transfers have been more efficient and timely.
As part of our commitment to provide patient’s with the best care possible, we are fortunate to have Telehealth facilities available within our Urgent Care Centre. This technology enables our nursing/medical staff to consult, via computer screen link, to other facilities, allowing specialist consultations to occur direct. Facilities that we link with include, Southwest Health Emergency Dept. and Mental Health team, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Royal Melbourne, The Alfred and Adult retrieval Victoria.
Urgent Care Centre also staffs a Short Stay Observation Unit for those patients requiring an extended period of monitoring but not requiring a full hospital admission. The benefit is that they continue to receive the quality care provided within the UCC but in a quiet and more comfortable unit attached to the UCC. It has all the features of the hospital ward including hot meals, TV, and a bed rather than an UCC trolley. This unit has not been fully operational during the pandemic as the area was converted to an Isolation Unit to allow for a safer way to manage Covid 19 patients.
We are committed to providing a quality service that meets the community’s expectations. The UCC has critical care monitoring, both adult and paediatric, available in all patient cubicles throughout the department. The department is physically very well appointed with upgrades to safety with CCTV and duress alerts installed. To provide quality care, nursing and medical staff continue to be proactive in professional development: attending internationally accredited critical care courses, participating in national research and attending emergency-specific training courses. We also continue to have senior emergency medical specialists who treat patients and train staff in a supported clinical environment.