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Trolley waits remain at hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:18 15 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

SEVENTEEN people waited for more than four hours for a bed, after arriving at Ipswich Hospital's A&E department in a month, the Evening Star can reveal.

SEVENTEEN people waited for more than four hours for a bed, after arriving at Ipswich Hospital's A&E department in a month, the Evening Star can reveal.

That included six people – out of 685 – who had 'trolley waits' lasting as long as six and a half to seven hours.

Latest figures released today also show that only 84 per cent of patients during July waited for less than two hours for a bed, and 97pc were seen within 15 minutes of arriving.

That fails to meet the national Patient's Charter standard which says everyone admitted to hospital through an A&E department, should be given a bed as soon as possible and certainly within two hours.

The clock starts ticking when it is decided the patient should be admitted, or when A&E treatment has finished – whichever is the latest.

The clock stops when the patient is either in a bed on an appropriate ward, or in an operating theatre, or moved to the x-ray department for example, for more treatment before getting a bed.

The 84pc is an improvement since March, when only 76pc of patients waited less than two hours.

The average for the country at that time was 72pc.

But all the excessive waits at Ipswich are being investigated by the bed site team.

It was also revealed that 18 patients had their operation cancelled at the last minute for non-medical reasons.

The hospital was on 'red alert' twice during the first quarter of this year, when only a handful of beds were free.

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