Busy hospital's plea to the public

By Mark HeathA HOSPITAL has appealed to the public for help in freeing up beds as it continued to endure busy periods.Staff at Ipswich Hospital are working “above and beyond the call of duty” as they battle to deal with a rising tide of admissions in the run-up to Christmas.

By Mark Heath

A HOSPITAL has appealed to the public for help in freeing up beds as it continued to endure busy periods.

Staff at Ipswich Hospital are working “above and beyond the call of duty” as they battle to deal with a rising tide of admissions in the run-up to Christmas.

The plea came after the hospital's accident and emergency department was flooded with an “unprecedented” 20 ambulances within 90 minutes on Saturday.


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Just two weeks ago the hospital was placed on blue alert - meaning only emergency ambulance cases were accepted.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “We have been exceptionally busy with a rise in emergency admissions, but we are coping really well.

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“On Saturday, because of the overwhelming number of patients coming in, we had to use part of the fracture clinic as an additional accident and emergency area, which is a safe and warm clinical area.

“Senior managers and the hospital trust's medical director came in and everyone pulled out all the stops, as always, to make sure people were treated and cared for as quickly as possible.”

She added: “There was pressure on beds so we didn't have the beds immediately to hand - which is why we needed the additional accident and emergency area.

“At all times there was safe patient care and we had no alternative but to do what we did.”

Ambulance staff were called in to care for patients in the extended accident and emergency department - but the spokeswoman said that practice was not unusual.

“We work in partnership with the ambulance paramedics and when they bring the patients in, they look after them until they can hand them over. They are fully trained,” she added.

“Our community has been brilliant in understanding and helping us. One of the things we would be grateful for is if those coming in to pick up people from hospital could come in the morning in order to make beds free.

“The message is that we are busy, but we are doing well - staff have been working late and coming in off leave. People really have been going above and beyond the call of duty.”

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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