Ipswich: Patient waited 15 hours for treatment at Ipswich Hospital A&E
10:44 06 December 2012
A PATIENT was forced to wait more than 15 hours before receiving treatment at Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department.
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 email@example.com