Health service denies ramping ambulances
PARAMEDICS are reporting they are being "ramped" at Ipswich Hospital but health officials say the delays are simply instances of peak demand in the Emergency Department.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service chief executive Lesley Dwyer said any delays could be attributed to high demand in patient presentations in a short period of time.
A United Voice spokesperson said the union had not been notified of any serious ramping circumstances.
Union officials are visiting Ipswich Hospital next week.
Ramping was a serious issue at hospitals across Queensland during the Bligh government era.
The Metropolitan Emergency Department Access Initiative (MEDAI) report aimed to give greater responsibility to the QAS to distribute patients to hospitals.
Ms Dwyer said patient loads at the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department vary on a daily basis.
"In winter particularly, there are peaks in demand and this can mean increases in the number of patients presenting to the emergency department," she said.
Ms Dwyer said MEDAI policy allowed for better interaction between hospitals and the QAS.
"It provides a framework for Hospital and Health Services and Queensland Ambulance Service to work together to address issues and review work practices in an effort to ensure patients are transferred from ambulances to the emergency department as smoothly as possible."
Ipswich Hospital has not initiated any ambulance redirection or bypass since we implemented the MEDAI recommendations in early November 2012," she said.
"A huge amount of work has gone into improving the flow of patients through the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department to ensure there are enough treatment spaces for incoming patients.
"We have also developed new work practices to deal with the demand during busy periods. This protocol is working well."
Waiting times at the hospital's Emergency Department have been cut dramatically over the past 12 months.