Ambulances at Ipswich Hospital.
Ambulances at Ipswich Hospital.

CORONAVIRUS: Hospital increases capacity of ED

WEST Moreton Health is continuing to see a high number of presentations in its emergency departments across the region during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fever clinics have been established at Ipswich and Gatton hospitals to take the strain off EDs during the health crisis and stop the spread of the virus to other patients.

West Moreton Health chief operating officer Matthew Tallis said Ipswich Hospital was prepared for an increase in activity and the number of beds in its ED has been increased.

"This planning ensures the emergency departments continue to run efficiently and includes working with our private partners and reducing the elective surgeries we perform in line with recommendations," he said.

"We have increased our capacity in the emergency department by 16 beds, with the potential to expand further if required.

"We have implemented a significant change in our visitor policy to protect patients, staff and the wider population from COVID-19 which is in line with the chief health officer's social distancing measures and health recommendations.

"We know that these measures to keep patients, staff and the community safe will continue to change."

Mr Tallis said the best way to care for a loved one in hospital was to connect with them through electronic means.

"We ask families of those in our care to stay home where possible, and we have ensured that up-to-date messages are displayed at the entries and exits of the hospitals to assist this," he said.

Anyone who doesn't require hospital-based care is urged to see their GP or phone 13 HEALTH if they have health concerns, allowing West Moreton Health staff the ability to treat those most in need.

A COVID-19 hotline is available by phoning 3413 7199.

It is manned by registered nurses at Ipswich hospital daily between 8am and 8pm.

"Our planning ensures we have capacity for COVID-19 patients as well as the needs of wider population," Mr Tallis said.

"West Moreton Health has responded to health emergencies in the past and we will do it again in the future.

"Australia has one of the best health systems in the world and we are prepared."

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