Since its opening in late August, the Ripley Satellite Hospital has already shown promising signs of benefiting the local community. The hospital’s Minor Injury and Illness Clinic (MIIC) has served 2,694 individuals between August 30 and October 15, which has significantly reduced visits to the Ipswich Emergency Department.
Early data reveals a decrease of approximately 350 low acuity presentations (Category 4 and 5) at the Ipswich Emergency Department in September compared to the previous month. This translates to an average of over 10 fewer visits per day. Moreover, the MIIC at the Ripley Satellite Hospital experienced more than double the number of Category 5 patient presentations compared to the Ipswich Emergency Department in September.
According to Dr Mei-Ching “Meech” Freeman, Clinical Director Prevention at West Moreton Health, the Ripley Satellite Hospital’s clinicians are currently attending to an average of 60 to 70 patients per day. The facility and the team of clinicians have received excellent feedback from the community, and they are proud to offer care closer to home for the rapidly growing Ripley community.
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman expressed satisfaction with the early data, stating that it indicates the Satellite Hospital is successfully diverting non-urgent patients away from busy hospitals. The fact that more Category 4 and 5 patients are attending the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic rather than emergency departments is a highly encouraging trend. However, ongoing monitoring will continue to assess the broader impact of the Satellite Hospital on the healthcare system.
The Ripley Satellite Hospital’s MIIC has demonstrated its ability to provide necessary care for minor injuries and illnesses, effectively reducing the strain on the Ipswich Emergency Department. Its positive impact on the local community has been evident in the decreased number of low acuity presentations and the growing number of patients seeking care at the facility. This marks a step towards more accessible healthcare for Ripley and surrounding areas.