Long waits face hospital patients

PATIENTS are facing long waits in Ipswich Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department because of severe bed pressures, it emerged today.

PATIENTS are facing long waits in Ipswich Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department because of severe bed pressures, it emerged today.

The hospital has been criticised by external auditors for providing an erratic performance at its new A&E department, the Garrett Anderson Centre.

New figures show that in December more than 6 per cent of patients attending the emergency department faced waits of more than four hours for treatment.

The news comes after The Evening Star revealed some patients were enduring long waits in ambulances which were stacked outside Ipswich Hospital.


You may also want to watch:


Today the hospital, which has now been ordered to make sure less than 1pc of patients wait longer than four hours in A&E, pledged to tackle the problem.

Jan Rowsell, Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman, added: “A huge amount is being done about it. Together with patient safety improving access and making sure no one waits longer than they have to is our major aim.

Most Read

“We need to be able to respond to peaks in demand. That is where most of our learning work is.

“It is when we don't respond quickly enough that we breach the targets.”

In response to the problem the hospital called in a health expert in December to look at possible solutions, and it is considering employing an “emergency care supremo” to deal with emergency care throughout the community.

Prue Rush, spokeswoman for the former Ipswich Hospital public and patient involvement network, said: “They have some very difficult targets to hit, which is fine as long as the staff and facilities are available, but they are not.

“The pressures are enormous on everyone and perhaps we all need to do our bit and not go to A&E if we don't need to.

“Not having enough beds is a problem. You can't get patients through if there is nowhere to place them and there are fewer beds in the main hospital than there used to be.”

Have you faced long waits at Ipswich Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter