Attempts to 'free up' hospital beds

NEW moves are being made to discharge patients on time for Ipswich Hospital in a bid to cut down on cancelled operations and long waiting times.Ideas are also being put forward to bring people on the day of surgery rather than the day before which could free up lots more beds.

NEW moves are being made to discharge patients on time for Ipswich Hospital in a bid to cut down on cancelled operations and long waiting times.

Ideas are also being put forward to bring people on the day of surgery rather than the day before which could free up lots more beds.

Last month, it has been revealed that 300 more bed days could have been generated if patients were brought in on their day of surgery.

Figures for July have shown that people were waiting too long for some appointments and the hospital did not manage to meet some of the Government targets.


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However in some areas such as day care surgery the Trust was above its targets.

Some of the problems were put down to a surge in emergency admissions in recent months which, Paul Forden, chief executive of the Trust, said had been a national problem.

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But it was revealed that problems were also being caused because too many patients were still using beds after midday when they should have been discharged.

A discharge lounge is now open so patients can go there while waiting to go home.

Patients being admitted the day before their surgery could also be reduced and Fiona Webster, associate director of service development and planning, said that pre-operative assessments could be made before going to the hospital.

She said: "There would be a significant opportunity to free up beds by people not being admitted the day before.

"If we were to improve our surgery admissions rate we could have freed up more than 300 bed days in July."

Figures for last month also showed that the hospital had breached targets for two week cancer waits, which had not happened since November.

Mr Forden said: "It was a marginal breach of a day or two.

"We had to make changes in the system and we have learned from that.

"No-ones care was compromised but it is still disappointing."

During last month 71 operations had to be cancelled and in seven cases, patients had not been readmitted within 28 days.

More than 1300 outpatients were waiting more than 13 weeks for an appointment, but 554 patients also failed to turn up for their appointments.

Pressures are still high in Accident and Emergency with only 84 per cent of people being seen and treated within the required four hours against a target of 90 per cent.

In July more than 5,600 people attended A+E which was a 23 per cent more than in April.

More operations will be able to be carried out when the hospital has built the new day care centre but improvements are being made already with the introduction of the new Framlingham Ward last week which will provide more beds.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said: "We are always looking at new ways of caring so that we can meet our targets.

"Everyone is working very hard and people are doing really well.

"There are improvements that are being made and the first step of that is Framlingham Ward."

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