Generic shot of Ipswich Hospital East Street entrance.
Generic shot of Ipswich Hospital East Street entrance.

ED bed reduction triggers ramping fears for hospital

NURSES have sounded the alarm after reports up to 16 beds would be removed from Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department, despite the hospital already having high levels of ramping.

It’s understood a local nurse spoke to LNP Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause about the issue, before the beds were reportedly removed on Friday.

“Ipswich Hospital needs more hospital beds, not less,” Mr Krause said.

“I have heard first hand from local nurses who are concerned about the impact this will have on them and local health services.”

The QT reported in May that ramping rates at Ipswich hit 35 per cent, according to Queensland Health’s performance website.

People in the waiting room in the emergency Department of Ipswich Hospital.
People in the waiting room in the emergency Department of Ipswich Hospital.

Ipswich Hospital Executive Director Michael Lewzcuk said West Moreton Health had temporarily expanded its bed capacity in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This had to be done to concentrate all necessary resources on keeping Queenslanders safe,” he said.

“This followed and was enabled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement in March that all states and territories would stop non-urgent procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now that Queensland has successfully flattened the curve and elective surgery has resumed across the state, Ipswich Hospital must continue to meet the demands of the community and ensure everyone can receive the right care at the right time.”

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said those borrowed resources have now gone back to where they came from.

Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times
Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times

“Elective surgeries are now back in action, so of course all of those resources now go back into supporting people who have been waiting to have surgery,” she said.

“Our government has invested record funding into that hospital and $124 million dollars has been invested which will result in an extra 26 beds.

“I keep informed with what’s happening up there with ramping. The hospital does a really good job of managing the emergency department.”

The new 26-bed ward at Ipswich hospital is expected to open later next year.



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