Hospital staff praised for snow heroics

IPSWICH: A hospital chief today praised his staff for the way they coped during an unprecedented busy period.

Naomi Gornall

IPSWICH: A hospital chief today praised his staff for the way they coped during an unprecedented busy period.

This time of year is always frantic for Ipswich Hospital due to an increase in the number of patients suffering from conditions triggered by the freezing temperatures, such as breathing problems.

However, the recent cold snap and heavy snowfall brought more pressures, forcing staff to take extra measures to complete their duties.

In his weekly message to staff, the hospital's chief executive Andrew Reed said: “The hospital remains under immense pressure as a result of the difficult weather conditions we have been experiencing.

“We have more than 60 additional beds in place, including Framlingham Ward, which is a discharge ward put especially in place to help manage winter pressures.

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“May I once again thank everyone who has worked so hard to care for the exceptionally high number of patients over the past weeks.”

There were many examples of employees going that extra mile - including one senior staff member who walked to the hospital from Woodbridge when the buses were cancelled.

Other staff members stayed at the hospital overnight to ensure they were available for the start of their shift in case the weather conditions held them up.

Despite having to close wards due to the winter sickness bug and putting a ban on visitors attending the hospital, staff acted like “real heroes”, according to hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell.

Are you a member of staff at the hospital and want to tell us how you coped during the bad weather? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

There were 61 new patients in the hospital's fracture clinic last Monday, most of whom had suffered slips, trips and falls due to the wintry conditions. This is an increase compared to the same day a week earlier when there were 41 new admissions.

Ipswich Hospital rotas were switched around so that those living nearer to the hospital worked different shifts to help those who had a further distance to travel.

An unused ward was set aside for any emergency cases where staff can stay if getting home or getting back for shifts is an issue.