A PATIENT was forced to wait more than 15 hours before receiving treatment at Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department.

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New figures released by the NHS Information Centre show in July, despite the longest wait, the average time a patient had to wait was 74 minutes – within the four-hour target time.

The snapshot reveals 6,873 patients passed through the Garrett Anderson Centre’s doors at the Heath Road site in July, with 3.2 per cent of those patients leaving before they were treated - just above the national average of 3pc.

Of all the patients through the doors in July, 322 had to revisit the department at a later date – a rate of 4.7pc, below the national average of 7.3pc.

Concerns have been raised by patients at the long waits in the A&E department following the move of the minor injuries service from The Riverside Clinic to Heath Road in July.

But a hospital spokeswoman said: “Our emergency department team works extremely hard to see all patients as quickly as possible.

“Occasionally the demand is so high our patients do experience longer than usual waits and on these occasions we always prioritise according to clinical need.

“There are very rare and exceptional situations where patients need treatment but for legal and/or ethical reasons we are unable to provide it within the usual timeframes, regardless of how busy the department is.

“There are also cases where a patient is not a fit enough to receive treatment, for example, those influenced by alcohol or drugs.

“In all cases, the time to treatment figure does not mean the patient is not cared for. Patients are triaged by a nurse on their arrival and where necessary given medical reviews.

“The number of patients being brought to the hospital by ambulance is significantly growing. From April to November this year we saw an average of 113 extra ambulance conveyances a month. Despite that, we are consistently meeting the national target of seeing and treating 95pc of emergency department patients within four hours.”

n What do you think? E-mail health reporter lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk

7 comments

  • Surely if a patient is well enought to wait 15 hours to be seen, then they should be going to their GP rather than A&E? It is obvious that there will be times when demand is particualrly high, and during those times the patients with the most immidiate need for care have to be dealt with first. This is a bit of a non-story as far as I am concerned.

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    Emmy Lou

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

  • "A PATIENT was forced to wait more than 15 hours before receiving treatment at Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department" This means nothing without knowing the extent of their injury. You often get people in A+E with very minor injuries and if you happen to get a lot of people coming in with more severe injuries they will get seen first. Yet another news story that isn't!

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    Chris Church

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

  • Have nothing but praise for the staff. They work hard in difficult circumstances. Of course you may have to wait at times, there are cases that more urgent than others and these will always have priority.

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    Wendiwych

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

  • What the article doesn't state is that whilst "patients are triaged by a nurse on their arrival and where necessary given medical reviews" they are actually cared for whilst they are waiting by the ambulance crew that brought them in, which means another ambulance crew tied up and unable to respond to other emergencies. No wonder the ambulence service struggles to get to the sick and dying if half their crews are stuck in A&E waiting for the hospital to clear their backlog. The hospital management couldn't organise party in a brewery! This happened to my eldery mother and 4 crews had to wait with their paitents for hours until they could hand them over to NHS hospital staff - dreadful!

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    Driven Roundabend

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

  • I have been to A&E twice in the last couple of months, both times there were drunk people and people on drugs there, they were causing disruption and that reflected on waiting times. Not the staffs fault purely the fault of people who think they are more important because they are high....disgusting!!!

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    ipswich girly

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Your article does not explain 'Why?' the patient had to wait 15 hours. Was it for the reasons stated by the hospital spokesperson? In which case it appears totally acceptable as it was beyond the control of staff. An attention grabbing and misleading headline me thinks.

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    dinosaur detective

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Having been to A&E more than once I have nothing but praise for all the staff. Totally agree with the drunks etc that cause disruption and distress to staff and patients.

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    A.J.M.917

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

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