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Ipswich: Hospital’s emergency department deals with 60 more people a day

12:00 27 May 2014

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital's emergency department sees an extra 60 patients a day compared to four years ago

The number of people turning up at Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department (ED) has soared by an extra 60 patients a day compared to four years ago, it has emerged.

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New figures from Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust’s board papers reveal daily visits to the ED have increased from 166 in 2010 to 220 in 2014.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter last night said the increased pressure was down to factors including an ageing population and changes to out-of-hours care.

The North Ipswich and Central Suffolk MP said: “The problems have been going on since 2004/05 as the decision was made by the previous government to change the contracts so patients were unable to see their GP out of hours.

“That immediately put a lot more pressure on emergency departments.

“What has made it worse is the fact that many people are now living longer. Older people are choosing to retire to Suffolk as well as it is a good place to live.

“That in itself brings additional demand because older people can often have a number of medical conditions such as diabetes, dementia and heart disease and if you have people with complex care needs, they can become very unwell and tend to arrive at A&E.”

According to the figures, around 7,000 people attended the ED, via ambulance and as a walk-in patient, at the hospital in 2013/14 but the predicted numbers for 2014/15 are forecast at around 7,800 visits.

Dr Poulter also said a lot of people do not know where to get out-of-hours care, after the former minor injuries unit at the Riverside Clinic in Ipswich was closed in July 2012, which has resulted in the numbers turning up at Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department rising.

To help alleviate some of the pressures, Dr Poulter has suggested that GP surgeries become a “little more flexible” in their opening hours.

He added: “That’s something I know some of our surgeries in Ipswich are beginning to do. It gives people the time to see their GP after work. The government has also negotiated that over-75s now have to have a nominated GP with a plan put in place about how they are going to be cared for around the clock. So it’s not the case that the result will always be to turn up at A&E.”

The hospital also has to deal with seasonal pressures, with the number of people expected to visit the department predicted to peak during the summer months.

An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said: “Demand for healthcare across Suffolk, as indeed across the country, is clearly increasing. Our aim is to provide safe, compassionate, high-quality care at all times.

“It also helps us immensely if people do make the right call and access the healthcare service at the right time. That can be from actually, if you don’t feel well, visiting your pharmacy, ringing 111 through to coming to the emergency department.

“We are there for everyone but if people can help us it means we have got more time and more resources for those who need us most.”

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7 comments

  • only 60 more people a day? I am quite impressed

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • I thought the old would get same blame ,remember that they over the course of their lives they have paid in to the system quite a lot ,why can't the local politicsions tell the truth look at the non English filling up the A&E,the vote for UKIP shows what the public think.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • If you look at the open borders then its obvious that the NHS we pay for is being ripped apart and abused by those who have never paid in yet expect treatment. I have undergone many surgeries and various procedures at Ipswich Hospital, and I have been treated very well indeed. The nursing staff are amazing and do a good job for peanuts, I admire them greatly. I also know some of the surgeons quite well and they are great guys who care about their patients. I am happy to pay my contributions.

    Report this comment

    Stevie

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • How is it that nobody in parliament I.e Dr Poulter.will ever say that maybe it's something to do with the influx of migrants coming here using our facilities.

    Report this comment

    Big Ben

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • perhaps closing the minors units (riverside) has an impact !! I went last week for a 5 min treatment and I was told I need to wait 2.5 hrs. Some people would call an ambulance instead !!

    Report this comment

    glen t

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Dan Poulter using every excuse to say why A&E and the health service is struggling, except the truth and that is why UKIP done very well recently..

    Report this comment

    this is what we pay tax for

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • If you look at the population growth figures for Ipswich the main cause of the increase appears to be down to population growth

    Report this comment

    BobE

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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