Suffolk: Whistleblower’s picture of ambulances stacking at Ipswich Hospital

FEARS over patient care have been raised after a whistleblower’s picture revealed the scale of ambulances queuing outside an accident and emergency department.

Eight ambulances and two rapid response cars were captured by a paramedic outside Ipswich Hospital’s accident and emergency department yesterday morning.

A hospital spokeswoman said not all ambulances were waiting to offload patients and all but one individual was seen within a quarter of an hour.

But Gary Applin, Unison secretary at East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS), said stacking was reducing the number of ambulances able to respond to emergencies.

Mr Applin said: “If you’ve got 10 ambulance resources outside Ipswich Hospital that’s frightening.

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“We have had 15 outside the Norwich and Norfolk and that’s ridiculous.

“It’s a real concern for us if trucks and cars are stuck outside accident and emergency with the call volumes we’re getting.

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“Ultimately it’s going to cause worse patient care and stress on staff.”

Earlier in August the EADT reported EEAS had lost on average 1,845 hours over the last year because of ambulances being delayed at hospitals.

But Suffolk MP Dan Poulter said ambulance stacking at Ipswich Hospital was an “occasional problem” and new interim chief executive Nigel Beverley had made it a priority to solve it.

“Under the previous chief executive there were fundamental problems with how the hospital was being managed,” he added. “I think he [Nigel] has made a tremendously good start in putting together a long term vision for the hospital.”

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