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Hospital on red alert

PUBLISHED: 20:41 20 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

IPSWICH hospital has been on red alert every day this week it has been revealed.

The Heath Road site was also on alert four times last week after a surge of emergency admissions left them with less than eight beds.

IPSWICH hospital has been on red alert every day this week it has been revealed.

The Heath Road site was also on alert four times last week after a surge of emergency admissions left them with less than eight beds.

Problems have also arisen because some people are too ill to be discharged so the beds are not being made available.

But a spokeswoman for the hospital insisted that the problem was being carefully managed and all departments had kept open.

Spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said the hospital can sometime just go on to red alert for an hour or two while waiting for some people to be discharged.

Figures are not yet available for the month to see whether any operations have had to be cancelled but Ms Rowsell said the hospital had now designed a new system for people waiting for operations.

She said: "We now have people on standby for operations rather than booking them an actual day.

"We ask them if they would like to come in on a certain day and that we will ring them a couple of days before and let them know if the bed is free, rather than have the situation where you think you are down for a day and then they say the bed is not free."

In October the hospital had 10 red alert days and as the colder weather approaches the hospital has to plan carefully.

Ms Rowsell said: "Red alert days do happen at this time of year – if the weather is damp you find people with respiratory problems come in.

"If it is frosty there is an increase in falls and if you are older they can be very damaging.

"This time of year we do expect an increase in admissions."

The hospital has also appealed to the community to help them out at this time of year.

Ms Rowsell said patients ready to be discharged are being asked if they can be picked up during the morning where possible, which will then free up a bed for another patient enabling an operation to go ahead.

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