Suffolk/Essex: Number of patients admitted to region’s hospitals soars
The number of patients admitted to hospitals in Suffolk and Essex has soared over the past five years, figures show.
Ipswich Hospital has seen a 13.8% rise in the number of emergency patients since 2007/08, with the figure standing at 29,199 in 2012/13, the Health and Social Care Information Centre said.
It means an extra 295 patients were taken to the Heath Road site’s A&E every month on average in the last financial year compared to five years ago. There was an overall increase of 15.8% of patients visiting the hospital, up to 85,727 in 2012/13 – an extra 974 every month.
An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said: “Like all NHS organisations throughout the country there is increased demand for health services and we are working very closely with our commissioners, GPs and colleagues to make sure we provide care which is responsible and meets people’s needs.”
When asked what the financial implications are of an increase, she added: “We work very closely with our commissioners to make sure we are able to be financially sustainable and actually meet all of our targets and national access standards.”
Elsewhere, there was an 18.3% rise in emergency patient admittance at West Suffolk Hospital, totalling 22,263 in 2012/13.
At the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston there was a 40.1% increase, reaching 21,924 in the last financial year.
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At Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust emergency admissions rose by 20.8% over the same five-year period.
A spokesman for the NHS Foundation Trust said: “In common with other A&E departments, we have seen a progressive rise in the number of people attending our A&E department and in the number of emergency admissions. The population in Colchester is growing at a faster rate than most other parts of the country and there is an especially elderly population living on the coast in Tendring, which have both contributed to this rise in demand.
“Despite this, the trust’s performance against the national four-hour standard has been consistently good for many years. We have expanded the number of doctors and nurses and are working on a £2m-plus project to physically expand our A&E department, which will be completed in February.”