Waiting lists on the rise

WAITING lists have increased at Ipswich Hospital during the last couple of months it can be revealed.Nearly 300 extra patients were added to the outpatients list in May bringing the numbers of people waiting for appointments to 8,652.

WAITING lists have increased at Ipswich Hospital during the last couple of months it can be revealed.

Nearly 300 extra patients were added to the outpatients list in May bringing the numbers of people waiting for appointments to 8,652.

The number of patients waiting more than the target 13 weeks for some outpatient appointments has also gone up according to hospital figures for April and May.

Trauma and Orthopaedics, Gynaecology, Neurology and Oral Surgery had the most outpatients waiting more than 13 weeks who had been referred by GPs and dentists.


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And while Oral surgery, general surgery and urology had managed to reduce the numbers waiting longer than 13 weeks compared to April, Opthalmology, Gynaecology and Cardiology all had even more patients waiting more than 13 weeks in May.

Trauma and Orthopaedics, general surgery and oral surgery also have the greatest number of patients waiting more than six months for inpatient surgery.

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Some inpatient and day case patients have also been left waiting longer than the six to eight month target.

The target for May was 584 but the actual numbers of people waiting went up to 692 from 641 in April.

Although 300 people waiting more than six months have been offered the choice to treatment at a different hospital, all but one have decided to stay at Ipswich.

By the end of May more patients had been removed from the inpatient waiting list than had been added to it.

Less day case operations were also carried out than hoped with 284 less being done than planned.

The amount of people waiting less than four hours in accident and emergency is meeting targets. In May 93 per cent had been seen and treated within the time limit, the target is 90 per cent. However this had dropped slightly from 94 per cent in April. By January 2005, 95 per cent of patients have to be seen and dealt with within four hours.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said that the results were just a snapshot of the year and that they were on track to meet all their targets.

She said: "What is really key is that we treat people as quickly as possible.

"We do want to meet national guidelines but our difficulty is pressure on beds.

"We are still really busy and there has been immense pressure on beds."

But she added that while they were meeting targets there were times in the year when numbers fluctuated and this could be seen in the last two months figures.

Ms Rowsell said: "We are still meeting targets and we are doing really well."

n. Have you had to wait long for an appointment or have you been impressed by the speed of your treatment? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or visit the Evening Star forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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