Don’t wait until you are seriously ill to see your doctor, Ipswich Hospital bosses urge

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital - Credit: Gregg Brown

Hospital chiefs are urging the people of Ipswich to be good neighbours and check on those putting off seeing a doctor before they fall seriously ill.

Our NHS in numbers

Our NHS in numbers - Credit: Archant

Loneliness is a silent killer, Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Ingle has warned – and could be responsible for an unprecedented wave of very sick patients using the service.

Her message comes in the wake of a national A&E crisis which has seen patients in the region left in corridors waiting for beds.

“The patients we are seeing are very sick and very poorly and they need beds in the hospital for a long while,” she said.

“Don’t wait until you are really poorly, reach out to the support systems that are in place.”

But the unprecedented demand is not necessarily a spike in numbers, but an increase in the number of people being admitted with serious illnesses.

“It is to do with the fact it is winter, and that we have just finished a holiday period,” Mrs Ingle added.

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“People hang on thinking it will be better tomorrow, and when they go to see a health professional they are very poorly and need to be taken to hospital.”

Now the hospital, which cancelled six non-urgent operations on Friday to cope, is urging people to be good neighbours and check on those who could be considered vulnerable.

“At this time of year we see a lot of older, frailer people who live on their own,” Mrs Ingle added.

“Another message we’d like to get out there is for people to be good neighbours and keep an eye out for people who seem vulnerable, to make sure they are safe.

“As I’m sure volunteers at Age UK will tell you loneliness is a silent killer and it very much is.

“It can make the biggest difference to pop in and see someone and encourage them to get help.”

Patients are being encouraged to see their pharmacist or GP as soon as they think something is wrong.

If it is more serious, they should call 111 or 999 in an emergency.