Ramping still rife at Ipswich Hospital ED

IPSWICH paramedics are spending hours waiting in hallways for their patients to be admitted - still.

Ambulance ramping is an issue affecting the entire state as busy emergency departments struggle to keep up with the flow of patients.

The State Government has introduced measures to alleviate the problem including a revamp of the emergency department, adding more beds, more staff and new QAS vehicles.

But at Ipswich Hospital the ramping has persisted.

Since August last year, paramedics have raised the issue as major problem in Ipswich three times.

Ipswich Hospital's monthly figures tracking the amount of time it takes to admit patients who arrive at the Emergency Department via ambulance were improving.

But those figures have taken a dive and Ipswich paramedics have again spent up to five hours standing in a hallway instead of answering calls for help from the public.

Last month 353 people left the Ipswich Hospital Emergency department before receiving treatment, Queensland Health figures show.

Among those were four patients classified as 'category 2'.

Category 2 patients are described as in an 'imminently life-threatening' condition and, according to Queensland Health guidelines, should be seen within 10 minutes of arrival at the hospital.

Under Queensland Health policy, emergency departments are expected to admit 90% of patients within 30 minutes of arrival at the hospital.


In August, only 74% of all patients who arrived at the Ipswich Hospital emergency department were seen within the recommended time frame.

This year's flu season, which peaked in August, has increased the amount of pressure on Ipswich Hospital.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said during August presentations to Ipswich Hospital were 11.1% higher than in the previous year.

Ipswich Hospital received almost 9500 patients from the Queensland Ambulance Service during this year's flu season, compared to around 6800 over the same period in 2013, Mr Dick said.

"...that means the hospital has received around 38 per cent more QAS presentations this flu season compared to the same time four years ago," Mr Dick said.

"Despite the growing demand for service in the West Moreton area, 100 per cent of Category 1 patients are seen within two minutes. That is, the most urgent cases are given priority.

"The number of ambulance officers in Ipswich and the West Moreton area has been boosted by 31 full time equivalent positions between July 2015 when the Palaszczuk Government handed down its first budget and September 2017.

"The Palaszczuk Government has also delivered 21 new or replacement QAS vehicles to the Ipswich and wider West Moreton area since 2015."

Feel unwell?

Consider seeing your GP or, if you're not sure, call 13 HEALTH, 24 hours a day to speak with a registered nurse who can direct you to care.

Topics:  cameron dick health ipswich hospital west moreton hospital and health service

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