Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Ipswich: Fresh concerns about confusion in health service as eight people a day ‘misuse’ A&E department at Ipswich Hospital

09:14 22 April 2014

Praise for staff at Ipswich Hospital

Praise for staff at Ipswich Hospital

Hundreds of patients are still turning up at Ipswich Hospital’s accident and emergency department every month, even though their ailments could be treated by a GP or the 111 service, a new report has revealed.

The figures, in a report to be discussed by health chiefs this week, show more than 1,200 patients went to A&E in Ipswich “inappropriately” between November and March – an average of eight a day. The news is likely to fuel concerns that emergency departments are put under too much unnecessary pressure by patients confused over where they should go.

For the five-month period, the county’s 111 and out-of-hours care provider Harmoni based a GP at Ipswich Hospital’s A&E unit. During this time, they saw 1,217 patients whose complaints could have been effectively dealt with elsewhere.

Last night, Ipswich Hospital spoke of the challenges of “delivering health care to people who need it”, and praised the work to tackle the issue. Spokeswoman Jan Ingle said: “We work in close partnership with GPs who work in primary care and in the out-of-hours service delivered by Harmoni. We have been delighted by this close partnership working over the past months.

“It has helped us immensely in becoming one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for treating people within four hours.

“It is challenging to deliver health care to people who need it. We have noticed growing demand, with figures showing a significant increase in the number of people attending A&E this year. It is through our partnership work that we are trying to understand why this happens.”

The A&E figures are contained in a report reviewing the success of out-of-hours GP and NHS 111 services in Suffolk, which will be discussed by the county’s health scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

The county’s 111 service was set up in February 2013 to provide patients with prompt medical help for urgent complaints that do not require a 999 emergency response.

The report suggests the misuse of A&E would have been worse if it was not for the 111 hotline.

A survey, carried out by Harmoni in January, asked more than 60 callers if they would have contacted or visited another service about their health problem had it not been available.

Of those to respond, 41% said they would have either dialled 999 or visited A&E.

Calls to 111 are answered by trained advisers, supported by nurses, who advises patients of the appropriate service or outcome, which may include further clinical advice, or referral to an out of hours service doctor or advanced nurse practitioner – but most calls result in a GP appointment.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, the health scrutiny committee will consider arrangements for recommissioning of the out-of-hours GP and NHS 111 services from April 2015.

Health scrutiny committee chairman Tony Goldson said: “We must build public confidence in the 111 service.

“With the service due to be re-tendered, I have asked Harmoni to report to the committee and tell us where they are. We have to be sure that the service we are getting is the best it can possibly be.

“I want Harmoni to paint a picture of where they see the service when it comes to being re-tendered. If the intention is to make the service better, we need to ask how Harmoni can achieve that.

“Harmoni has been working hard and I now want commissioners to outline their vision for the future.”

1 comment

  • I ended up in A&E one afternoon as my doctors surgery was closed (due to 'staff training'). I knew I had a chest infection and just needed antibiotics. Called the OOH doctors who said I needed an ambulance because I had chest pain (obviously you do have chest pain when you have a chest infection). I refused this but went up to A&E on my own accord as I did need to be seen. Four hours later and a pack of antibiotics and I was finally away. What a waste of their time... I think patient records should be shared between surgeries so you can go to a different location if your doctors is closed for any reason. Some may say I wasted their time - not really, I was told to go. Doctors surgery appointments are another barrel of laughs...

    Report this comment

    AJ

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

BHS is closing down in Ipswich

BHS staff in Ipswich have still not been told when the store will close, the Star understands.

George Blagden in Versailles as  Louis XIV  (C) Canal +

He is television’s latest heart-throb, playing a starring role in the BBC’s steamy drama series Versailles.

Newmarket High Street.

Two fire engines were sent to reports of smoke coming from a premises in Newmarket High Street at around 1.35pm today.

Halesworth Golf Club and its members raised more than £13,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in a series of challenges

Halesworth Golf Club and its members raised more than £13,000 at its annual fundraiser for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) recently.

Sir Bobby Robson Bridge in Ipswich.

A 28-year-old man was assaulted and robbed of his bag, mobile phone and wallet on the Sir Bobby Robson Bridge at West End Road in Ipswich.

The A131 at Braintree.

Firefighters were called to a collision involving a motorbike and a car on the A131 in Braintree this morning.

SaxFest music festival - range of bands, including The Thinking Men, Kid Mojo and The Filters, Hot Tramp, Handle with Care, Strike the Sun, Misprinted Lines.

Nearly 2,000 people flocked to the third annual SaxFest this weekend – listening to a host of local bands in the sunshine.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24