Update for Save Bulli ED supporters

Dear Save Bulli ED supporters

Just a quick update. As you may know we have met with Ms Michelle Noort, Director of Operations at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), 3 times over the last 7 months to attempt to get the ISLHD to listen to the community. Not a lot of success there – but we have kept at it.

Ms Noort made a few comments in the media recently that we had to respond to – which made it look as if we were prepared to discuss a lesser than 24/7 service at Bulli. We were not prepared to discuss that, and we made that clear. The ISLHD made the assumption then that we would not talk with them at all. This was not the case.

We wanted you to know that we have been – and continue to be – prepared to talk to the ISLHD as long as 24/7 is the basis of that discussion. Yesterday we spoke to a representative of the Board and Mr Arthur Rorris of the South Coast Labour Council, and Mr Rorris is happy to work with us on opening up dialogue between the Save Bulli ED Group – representing the community concerned about this issue – and the ISLHD. We also want you to know that we do NOT see ourselves as deal-makers, rather we will attempt to influence the ISLHD, and the politicians, to ensure they provide the best possible 24/7 emergency care at Bulli Hospital, in line with the model that was endorsed at the Rally on 29th July.

However we may be put in a position to either agree or disagree with an option that the ISLHD present – but if that happens we will consult the community to discuss any option put forward. That has not occurred to date.

The Save Bulli ED team worked tirelessly for weeks on our submission to the Board which was in response to the ISLHD Health Care Plan (which cost the ISLHD $400,000) and our submission was sent to the ISLHD Board on Friday 14th. We did not charge them for our skills!!!

We also attended Bulli Show last weekend for the both days (Sat & Sun) from 9-4 where we handed out fact sheets and a ‘Call to Action’. We disseminated 600 of these sheets over the two days so we really are hopeful that people will act on our suggestion of writing to our state politicians – Evans and Skinner – to influence them to provide the funds for Bulli ED to continue to run 24/7. The Show was a great success and the support for the Save Bulli ED Campaign continues to be overwhelming.

We hope that you consider contacting Evans and/or Skinner yourselves over the next two weeks as we believe that a decision on Bulli is imminent. The Board is meeting on October 8th and, in the team’s view, this will be the date of the decision.

We hope this update is useful and that you feel that you are being kept informed. If you have any questions please email us at the Bullied.12@gmail.com

Kindest Regards
Alison Fettell for
the Save Bulli ED Team


Community group to Save Bulli Emergency Department offers persuasive evidence to health board

Save Bulli ED Group


Media release : 14 September 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#15

Community group to Save Bulli Emergency Department offers persuasive evidence to health board

Save Bulli ED today sent a detailed submission to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) on why it is essential to keep Bulli Hospital Emergency Department open, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The submission will be tabled at the next ISLHD Board meeting on 8 October 2012.

“We really appreciate the chance of putting a whole range of evidence forward,” said Alison Fettell, convenor of Save Bulli ED. “There are a range of issues that many people are unaware of. The ambulance by-pass of Bulli ED, for example – this contributes to bed block at Wollongong Hospital and affects everyone in the Wollongong region.”

The submission:

  • includes a recommendation that the ambulance “by-pass Bulli” order be rescinded, so that suitable patients can be taken to Bulli ED by ambulance, reducing bed block at Wollongong
  • addresses a situation where people are avoiding Wollongong ED because of its notorious waiting times but end up presenting with a far worse situation several hours later, and requiring hospitalisation, another example of how encouraging attendances at Bulli would reduce bed block at Wollongong
  • shows that the population of area has increased by 17% plus another several percentage points of international students since 1989; whereas the number of public hospital beds has increased by only 11% over the same time frame
  • reports on statements from the Bureau of Health Information that 2012 triage data being provided by the ISLHD for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department cannot be used as it is unreliable
  • seeks a guarantee that the “Emergency Department” sign outside Bulli Hospital will not be removed.

Numerous other points are also raised. The submission contains a range of evidence and perspectives to help the Board understand the current debate.

“Reinvigorating Bulli Emergency Department is the only rational solution to our current hospital bed crisis in the Illawarra,” said Alison. “We need more frontline emergency services in this region, right now!”

Attachment: submission to ISLHD Board.


Media contacts:     

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor
Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor

ISLHD, please clarify your plans for Bulli Emergency Department!

Save Bulli ED Group


Media release : 7 September 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#14

ISLHD, please clarify your plans for Bulli Emergency Department!

Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) today responded to recent media statements by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) that services at the Bulli E.D. would “would not be downgraded” except for opening hours.

“We would really welcome a genuine assurance that the Bulli Emergency Department would remain open, but there are so many unanswered questions, things that just don’t add up,” said Caroline Colton, Co-convenor of Save Bulli ED Group.

“We haven’t been able to get any answers on several vital questions. Perhaps our journalists might find out, and tell our community!”

“ISLHD say that the Emergency Department is to remain unchanged except for opening hours. But:

  • ISLHD don’t want to call it an “Emergency Department”, they want to call it an “Emergency and Primary Health Care” centre. If the service is unchanged, what is this about?
  • In the Mercury (28/8/12) the ISLHD was talking about removing the “Emergency Department” sign? Why, if the Emergency Department is to remain open, would you take down the sign?
  • Why won’t ISLHD tell us if emergency doctors will be retained on site? We have met with ISLHD but haven’t been able to get any answer to this question — will our emergency doctors still be there?”

The Save Bulli ED Group has met with ISLHD but there has been no clarity given. Community frustration levels are now running very high.

“The Northern Illawarra community doesn’t agree with any form of downgrading of Bulli Emergency Department, whether to operating hours or otherwise” said Caroline. “The community concern is to keep the Bulli E.D. we have now — which is a fully-functioning Emergency Department, staffed by emergency doctors and nurses, and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”


Media contacts:     

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor
Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor