Patients arrive at our Emergency Department a number of ways. They may be referred by their GP or primary healthcare provider, delivered by ambulance or they may self-present.
Regardless, all patients undergo a brief triage or screening to determine the nature and severity of the illness or injury. Patients are then assigned a triage code as follows:
- Triage 1: life-threatening e.g. heart attack. Treatment is immediate.
- Triage 2: emergency e.g. chest pain, shoulder dislocation etc. We aim to treat these patients within 10 minutes.
- Triage 3: urgent e.g. bad injuries, appendicitis etc. We aim to treat these patients within 30 minutes.
- Triage 4: semi-urgent e.g. fractures etc. We aim to treat these patients within 60 minutes.
- Triage 5: non-urgent e.g. minor strains or sprains which could be treated by a GP/primary healthcare organisation. We aim to treat these patients within two hours.
Where possible, infants and children are seen quickly. The triage nurse will request a paediatric assessment on children under four years triaged as category 3.
Patients are then seen in order of urgency, not arrival times, so those with more severe symptoms or injuries are treated before those with less serious conditions.
After the initial assessment and treatment, patients may be admitted to the hospital, transferred to another hospital or discharged.
As the entry point to the hospital, a lot of the activity occurs behind the Emergency waiting room doors. Our ambulance bay connects straight through to the Department, so the number of people in the waiting room is no indication of how busy we really are.
To help keeping waiting times down we ask that you keep your Emergency Department for emergencies, especially in the busier winter months.
If you have an injury or illness which you believe your GP may be able to treat, please visit them or the Wellington After Hours Clinic at 17 Adelaide Road, Newtown (open 8am - 11pm seven days a week). The Porirua After Hours Medical Centre is open from 5pm - 11pm on weekdays and from 8:30am until 11pm on weekends.