Hospital's black alert bed crisis

IPSWICH Hospital has come under extreme pressure from a bout of seasonal illness with bed managers forced to declare a state of “black alert”.

Russell Claydon

IPSWICH Hospital has come under extreme pressure from a bout of seasonal illness with bed managers forced to declare a state of “black alert”.

Fewer than seven beds were available to new patients throughout yesterday after an influx of people presenting flu-like symptoms took its toll.

Extra staff are being brought in and community hospitals are being contacted about free bed space for those with less severe symptoms.


You may also want to watch:


Last night hospital bosses said they were coping well with the situation and were still taking new admissions.

It comes the week after the hospital was forced to close down one six-bed medical bay because of an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug on the site.

Most Read

But Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said the current pressures were thankfully unrelated to the highly contagious virus.

“We are extremely busy but we are managing through,” she said. “We have less than seven beds free in the hospital but that position changes hourly.

“We do have a lot of poorly people in our wards and we are seeing people who need to be seen in hospital.

“This is our traditional busy period but we have been busier than we normally have. We have had enough beds though because of our escalation plans.”

She said messages to the public warning of the dangers of coming to the hospital with the winter vomiting bug had got through successfully, leading to no new cases.

She added the “black alert” status should not be seen as a crisis and was merely a situation report.

“There is a great deal of pressure across the whole system for health care at the moment because it is a very cold winter,” she said.

The bed status at West Suffolk Hospital was on the second highest alert yesterday but bosses said they had not seen a case of the winter vomiting bug since mid-November.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus