Hospital at bursting point

IPSWICH Hospital is at bursting point today following a crisis night which saw twelve people being sent home.A deluge of patients overnight put the hospital on blue light only status, meaning there were no beds at all left and only very seriously ill patients could be accepted.

IPSWICH Hospital is at bursting point today following a crisis night which saw twelve people being sent home.

A deluge of patients overnight put the hospital on blue light only status, meaning there were no beds at all left and only very seriously ill patients could be accepted.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said a number of patients had been brought in suffering from chest pains, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Hospital chief executive Andrew Reed was called in and spent the whole night at the hospital.

The blue light only status lasted until around 8.30am today and the hospital is now on black alert.

Hospital spokesman Jan Rowsell said: “It is extremely rare that we go onto 'blue lights' only.

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“Twelve patients were discharged between 11pm and midnight.

“Some of the patients had to be woken up so they could be discharged but there were very sick people who needed to come in.

“But those who went home were all ready and happy to leave and we organised transport for them.

“It was well-managed but we would like to thank patients for their co-operation.

“It is business as usual at the hospital today.”

The hospital had been on black alert - when there are fewer than eight beds available - after a very busy week and returned to black alert again this morning.

This comes after it was revealed the number of hospital beds available in Suffolk has reduced by 20 per cent in the past ten years.

Figures released by the Department of Health showed the number of available beds in Suffolk NHS hospitals has decreased from 1,501 in 1996/97 to 1,194 in 2006/07.

n. Were you one of the people sent home? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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