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'Unprecedented' demand at Ipswich Hospital after admissions soar by 2,000 in a year

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 November 2016

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Ipswich Hospital bosses have said they are facing "unprecedented" demand for services as the number of A&E admissions has climbed by 2,000 in the last year.

Data released by the Department for Health has shown that the number of admissions has soared from 92,571 to 97,037 in the last year, with the number of emergency patients having risen from 32,401 to 34,588.

The increase is impacting on the number of bed days being taken up, with figures increasing from 197,600 days to 199,157 as a result of the upturn.

The data comes amidst continually soaring demand nationwide as a further 359,000 admissions have been reported across England – including 149,000 extra emergency admissions.

An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said the issue was not unique to Ipswich, but staff were looking at ways to address the issue.

“Demand for healthcare, whether it is in the community or in hospital, is rising and the demand in recent months has been unprecedented,” the spokeswoman said.

“Everyone involved in improving health and social care is working very hard to look at how we do things differently so we can meet that demand.

“It’s not just in hospitals, it’s across GPs too and as a whole there’s much, much more demand.”

Hospital bosses said that a number of factors had combined to create additional admissions, including more people needing hospital treatments, more elderly patients with multiple or continual health problems were being treated, and the number of patients with complex health problems was also on the rise.

In April, government data revealed that obesity-related admissions had spiked by 36% in a single year to 2014/15.

Other factors have included increasing population numbers and people living for longer.

The admissions figure represents the number of different admissions received by the hospital, not the number of people, and treats patients attending hospital on different occasions as multiple admissions.

The increase in demand was also reflected in the consultant admissions data – the number of admissions where patients were required to see the same consultant, having risen by 7,358 in 12 months.

Last year the Government outlined proposals in its Five Year Forward View up to 2020 to reduce the demand on over-burdened health services, including work to tackle obesity from childhood, a review of those suffering long term treatable conditions and creating a “healthier society by supporting people to make lifestyle changes to improve their physical and mental health and prevent avoidable disease”.

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