NEW STATS: Ipswich Hospital ambulance ramping still rife
THOUSANDS of people who arrive at Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department in ambulances are still spending hours waiting to be seen, as ambulance ramping continues to plague the booming area.
In the past year Ipswich paramedics have twice raised ambulance ramping as a serious and ongoing issue at the hospital; once in September and again in January.
Despite attempts to improve, paramedics are still spending significant amounts of time standing in hallways waiting.
Under Queensland Health policy, emergency departments are expected to admit 90% of patients within 30 minutes of arrival at the hospital.
The latest figures from Queensland Health show Ipswich Hospital is consistently falling short of that standard with the February performance falling as low as 73.5%.
Over the past six months at least 20% of patients, or about 4000 people, waited longer than the recommended 30 minutes to be seen.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service says its working to improve the numbers, including adding 10 beds to the emergency department and assigning extra nurses during peak periods.
But the LNP Opposition says the latest data shows ambulance ramping is "back with a vengeance" at Ipswich Hospital.
"When in government the LNP significantly reduced ramping," Shadow Health Minister John Paul Langbroek said.
"The devastating impact of hospital ramping means poor patient care and fewer ambulances on the road able to respond and save lives."
The demand for health services in Ipswich is higher than ever as the population expands. West Moreton says between November and May, there was a 9% increase in presentations to the ED.
"In the financial year to date, 24,302 people have arrived by ambulance to the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department," a WMHHS spokesperson said.
"WMHHS is also working with Queensland Ambulance Service, the Department of Health and the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network to redesign the way patients move into, around and out of the Emergency Department."
The WMHSS spokesperson said the service had implemented strategies including regular meeting with Queensland Ambulance Service and transferring patients to rural facilities where possible.
The service says all patients who arrive at Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department with serious life-threatening injuries, are seen within two minutes; as per the state-wide standard.