Ipswich: Patients’ anger at minor injuries A&E wait

PATIENTS suffering minor injuries have today revealed their anger at “long waits” at Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department.

It comes a week after the minor injuries service transferred from the Riverside Clinic to the Heath Road hospital, under NHS Suffolk plans to save money.

Since then patients with minor complaints have been walking through the doors at the hospital’s Garrett Anderson centre, joining the A&E queues.

One patient, who asked not to be named, said after taking her two-year-old daughter to the department following a fall, she was shocked by the “chaos”.

Another patient, Brian Ager visited with his wife after she hurt her foot.

Mr Ager said they were told they would have to wait around four hours. Put off by the wait, Mr Ager said they returned the next day instead.

“There is no new minor injuries unit, you just have to join the A&E queue, and who knows how long you could wait. This puts the whole system back to how it was before the Riverside unit opened, meaning extremely longer waiting time at A&E for patients again.”

Most Read

An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said they have extra staff and treatment rooms in use since the service transferred to Heath Road.

She said: “The national standard is for 95 per cent of emergency patients to be seen within four hours and we consistently surpass that standard, both prior to the Riverside unit closing, and since then.

“We are sorry if patients have found the waits longer than they expected. It is the nature of an emergency department that demand comes in peaks and troughs. Our staff work hard to ensure all patients are seen as quickly as possible but those with the highest clinical need will be seen first.

“Minor injuries services are offered by GP practices and in the first instance patients should contact their practice.”

A spokesman for NHS Suffolk previously said that the Riverside Clinic was established in 2006 to take the pressure off A&E but this did not happen.

Responding to recent concerns, the spokesman added: “We’re sorry that people expected a separate unit, as we have always said it was the services that would move.

“They were brought into the hospital, giving the added benefit of offering patients and staff the back-up of its support services should a condition worsen.

“The minor injuries service has been performing well since the move on July 2.”

n Have you had to visit the? Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk