Ambulances wait at busy hospital

SOME patients have been left waiting up to an hour to be admitted to Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency because the hospital is so full, it has emerged.

SOME patients have been left waiting up to an hour to be admitted to Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency because the hospital is so full, it has emerged.

Inpatient operations are having to be cancelled and GP's are being asked to only send in the most urgent of cases at the moment because of the bed crisis.

Yesterday afternoon ambulance crews had to man the fracture clinic at the Heath Road site to look after patients with non-life threatening conditions who were waiting to be admitted to A+E.

At one point six ambulances were left waiting outside the hospital.


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The fracture clinic was being used from around 3.30pm until around 6.45pm.

And on Monday crews were waiting for up to an hour until space could be found in the hospital for patients.

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Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said that they were exceptionally busy and were struggling for beds.

She said that there were a large amount of patients being cared for suffering from severe breathing problems.

Ms Rowsell said: "We always expect to be busy at this time of year and there has been a marked increase.

"There are more people who need very urgent care for respiratory problems."

She added that the hospital trust was very grateful to the community for bearing with them.

Ms Rowsell said: "When we get this busy we can only deal with people who need really urgent and emergency care.

"We have had to say to people who were due to come in for operations that we have no beds.

"We have opened as many beds as we can and everyone feels incredibly regretful when we have to cancel people's operations but we have no choice.

"There is nothing worse than having to tell people that they can't come in but everyone is pulling out all the stops to make sure that we are coping."

Matthew Ware spokesman for East Anglian Ambulance Trust said that crews had responded to 413 calls across the region yesterday more than Monday, which is a notoriously busy day for the hospital and ambulance service.

And despite a crew staying at the fracture clinic to look after patients, the Trust had still managed to reach its target times.

He said that crews were also facing delays at other hospitals in the region including Addenbrooke's and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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