Patient reports waits of over seven hours at hospital A&E

A woman has told of her long wait for treatment at Ipswich hospital this weekend.

A woman has told of her long wait for treatment at Ipswich hospital this weekend. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich woman has told of her experience waiting seven hours for treatment at A&E. 

Ju Urbanek arrived at A&E at Ipswich Hospital at around 3am on Saturday, February 12, and was told to expect to wait four to six hours to be seen by a doctor.  

The hospital, which is run by East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), reported "many sick people" requiring treatment overnight and into Saturday morning.

Ju said: “I had the triage and took a seat in the waiting room. By this time, I was facing excruciating pain.” 

She was given paracetamol at 3.40am, and decided to go home to wait for treatment since she lives very close to the hospital.

She left her mobile phone number with a nurse, and was told to expect a call for treatment. 

She arrived back at hospital at 8.45am, and took a seat in the waiting room. 

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She said: “There was a couple there, they were there for 15 hours. They were really upset. Another lady complained she was there for eight hours.” 

Ju was admitted to a ward at around 10am, but saw that people who were there when she arrived were still waiting as she was getting admitted. 

“In the wards the treatment is much better,” she said. “They are awesome with everything. They really take care of you.” 

Data from the Emergency Care Data Set shows that, during the month of December, the average time people spent waiting for treatment was 56 minutes in ESNEFT hospitals.

95% of these people were seen within four hours. 

However, in December, patients admitted to hospital from A&E, similar to Ju, were waiting a total average time of 336 minutes or around five and a half hours.  

95% of these people were seen within 838 minutes, which is just under fourteen hours. 

Giles Thorpe, ESNEFT's chief nurse, said: “We are sorry to hear about this patient’s experience in Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department.  There were many very sick people who needed our care and treatment overnight into the morning of Saturday, 12 February.

“As always, all patients were initially assessed and prioritised clinically, so those with the most urgent need were seen first, but this meant some people were waiting longer than we’d have liked them to." 

“We would encourage this patient to make contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team who will be able to support her with any queries or concerns she may have about her experience and the care she received.”