TWO NEW nurses have joined the ranks of Cooma Hospital's emergency department, which will no doubt add to the already excellent response times achieved by the hospital.
Cooma Hospital manager Antje Badger said the two new recruits bring the staffing of the emergency department (ED) to 8.4 full time equivalent nurses.
"The two new staff are additional positions due to an increase in activity at the Cooma Hospital," Ms Badger said.
Staffing of the emergency department has been increased so that there are now two nurses on in the morning shift and two on in the evening instead of only one on each shift.
"There are roughly 12,000 (patient) presentations to the ED a year," Ms Badger said.
The two new emergency department nurses Rebecca Welch and Riard Fitzgerald started in August.
Ms Welch has come from Bathurst Base Hospital and did a stint in London hospitals before starting at Cooma three days ago.
Riard Fitzgerald has just finished six months in the Northern Territory where he worked with remote Aboriginal health and prior to that he was a nursing officer with the New Zealand defence force in trauma and emergency nursing for eight years.
Ms Badger said the hospital was consistently exceeding the state targets for attending to people in the emergency department within four hours - which is well above the state target.
"We are at 90 per cent, and the current state target is 76 per cent," Ms Badger said.
"So we're doing very very well."
Under the New Emergency Department Access Target (NEAT), patients who present to an emergency department will receive the treatment they need within four hours.
This includes an assessment or triage to when the patient physically leaves the emergency department, which includes being discharged, admitted to hospital for treatment or transferred to another hospital for treatment.
Ms Badger said the assessment is when a patient presents at emergency to when they are discharged.
"It should be four hours, but we are already doing that."
The state average is 76 per cent with a goal of 90 per cent by 2015.
Currently NSW hospitals are under-performing against the rest of Australia, excluding the ACT which is operating at 55.5 per cent of patients being processed within the four hours.
Statistics collected by the Emergency Care Institute show that in 2011 NSW was operating at a baseline of 61.8 per cent, Queensland was doing slightly better at 63.8 per cent,Victoria 65.9 per cent, Northern Territory 66.2 per cent with Western Australia at the top of the ladder with 71.3 per cent.
All the states have a target of 90 per cent by 2015.