max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C


Improved 111 service in Suffolk unveiled for winter pressures

PUBLISHED: 08:20 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:20 26 September 2018

Plans have been formed to help manage winter pressures at hospitals in Suffolk this winter Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Plans have been formed to help manage winter pressures at hospitals in Suffolk this winter Picture: PHIL MORLEY


Suffolk’s 111 health service is set to be relaunched this winter which will up the number of health professionals patients can speak to, it has emerged.

Richard Watson, deputy chief officer for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and NHS West Suffolk CCG Picture: IESCCGRichard Watson, deputy chief officer for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and NHS West Suffolk CCG Picture: IESCCG

Health organisations across Suffolk have come together to form a winter surge plan which features a host of measures aimed at tackling expected leaps in demand.

One of the key measures is increasing the number of beds available, with more in particular at West Suffolk Hospital which last winter experienced a 10% attendance increase.

A series of 28 ‘virtual’ beds are being established in Ipswich – beds at care homes – which will help improve the number of patients who can be discharged but continue having therapy or care that does not need to be in hospital.

The maximum target of beds is set at 92% bed occupancy, which the hospitals hope not to exceed.

A scale of priorities is also being outlined for operations during times of biggest pressure on emergency departments, and having more staff on during peak periods.

Richard Watson, deputy chief officer for Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “We are confident we have planned as much as we can for the extra pressure and demand in the winter period.

“We will also have a campaign over the winter months informing people how to use 111 and who they should call.

“The new 111 is launching on the first of November with Care UK and Suffolk GP Federation and will have much more focus on triaging people.

“Rather than speak to a call advisor, more of those will be going through to a trained clinician.”

The winter plan published ahead of Tuesday’s Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG governing body meeting said that A&E attendances were up last winter at both Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals, and said that Ipswich felt the “acuity of patients was greater than previous years, with the majority of patients frail.”

The report added: “The winter period of 2017/18 was a challenge nationally for all health and social care providers, and whilst Suffolk had good plans in place we were not exempt from these.”

The plans are set to be closely monitored by an escalation team that can make any changes and react quickly to build ups of pressure.

Two Ipswich residents have been left with bills of more than £1,000 between them after subjecting their neighbours to late-night, high-volume music by Status Quo and Natalie Imbruglia.

Police were unable to act on five cases of adults having sex with teenagers in their care over the last four years due to a legal loophole, the NSPCC has revealed.

Eagle-eyed shoppers will have noticed that the former Grimwade’s store in Ipswich town centre is fast transforming, and Pret A Manger will soon be opening their first store in town.

An Ipswich teenager representing the town at the UK’s Youth Parliament has called for more action on knife crime during a debate in the House of Commons.

A crunch summit between Shotley Pier stakeholders is being held to try and decide on the plans for the future of the Suffolk tourist attraction.

Table tennis, jamaoke sessions and a ‘Quizzee Rascal Wednesday’ are all on offer at new Waterfront bar Wiff Waff opening tonight (Friday).

The new-look Cornhill will host thousands of people next week for the Ipswich Town Hall Christmas lights switch on.

If you are a parent of a three or four year old you will have received a letter from Suffolk County Council about school places this week. But what do you do next?

A motorist was stopped in Ipswich after vehicle checks found the car not to have a valid MOT.

Ice skating has become a staple tradition for many families at Christmas and pop-up ice rinks are set to appear everywhere from Felixstowe, where skating is free, to Newmarket.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24