Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department has been named the state’s third worst hospital for ambulance diversions.
Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department has been named the state’s third worst hospital for ambulance diversions. File

Action to cure ambo bypass record

THE State Government has finally pledged to do fix clogged hospital emergency departments after Ipswich was named third-worst hospital for going on bypass.

Queensland Health statistics for June show Ipswich Hospital was too busy to accept anyone other than urgent patients more than 13 per cent of the time.

That put it behind only Logan and Redlands hospitals' emergency departments.

The State Government yesterday appointed Queensland's Australasian College of Emergency Medicine faculty chair, Dr David Rosengren, to head a committee of medical experts to tackle the issue.

Four paramedics and four nurses will also report back to the committee on their real-life work experiences.

Health Minister Geoff Wilson said the $200,000 review would take six months, and include two senior emergency department doctors observing and reviewing the Queensland ambulance call centre.

Two senior physicians will assist call centre operators and ambulance officers in a bid to have clearer communication between hospitals and paramedics.

He said electronic ambulance arrivals boards would be installed in 17 emergency departments in Queensland to note patient arrival times.

Mr Wilson said he hoped the committee would help free up beds for admissions.

The United Voice ambulance union coordinator Jeanette Temperley said the union and its members supported the committee.

"Anything that looks at addressing ramping, we're supportive of," Ms Temperley said.

"It's a long time coming; we've made a lot of noise about it and it's really good to see it finally being looked at.

"Getting patients out of ambulances and in to beds and the ambulance back on the road is what it's all about.

"We need to find a solution and everyone needs to get involved. One of the good things is they are involving workers on the ground."

Not everyone was impressed by the government's announcement with the LNP saying ramping is only part of the problem.

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle said the "incompetent Health Minister Geoff Wilson's SOS call to a national emergency medicine expert to repair Labor's damage was proof yet another Labor Health Minister had failed miserably to properly manage Queensland Health".

"The focus on the ED is not going to solve the ramping and access block crises created by Labor," Mr McArdle said.

"The answer lies in the Bligh government's inability to understand ramping is a whole of hospital issue.

 

FUTURE FOCUS

  • The $128.7 million expansion of the Ipswich Hospital is currently under way and will deliver an extra 90 beds by 2014 and expand the emergency department.
  • It will take the total number of ED treatment spaces to 47 and short-stay beds to 18.


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