Ipswich: Hospital sees spike in patients coming through A&E – especially on Wednesdays

A SHARP rise in the number of patients visiting Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department has prompted work to review reasons for the increase.

In August the trust failed to hit the four-hour wait target for emergency departments, reaching 94 per cent against a 95pc standard. Hospital bosses have attributed it to a steep rise in patients visiting the emergency department over two weekends.

On August 17 and 18 – during the Maritime Festival – a total of 460 patients visited the department with a further 290 on August 19. The following Bank Holiday weekend saw 728 patients through the doors across the three days.

Brian Owens, associate director of operations, said: “We have seen growth in urgent admissions, with five to seven more ambulances each day compared with last year, and the planned growth after the minor injuries unit moved on site.

“There is a piece of work going on around emergency pathways.

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“When the MIU came to the trust we did bring in more resources, opening additional rooms and incorporating some of the staff from the Riverside.

“We are also working closely with the ambulance service to understand the rise in ambulances.

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“Wednesdays are now very high volume and at the moment we can’t see why but we are going through the data.

“People know we are here 24-7 and they know they will get a good level of service.”

He urged people to make use of services including their GP practices, NHS Direct and their local pharmacies for more minor complaints.

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

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