Ambulance ramping is continuing to plague overstretched hospitals across the state with the Cairns and Ipswich facilities recording a 12 per cent increase.
Ambulance ramping is continuing to plague overstretched hospitals across the state with the Cairns and Ipswich facilities recording a 12 per cent increase. Tony Martin

‘Staggering’ increase in ambulance ramping

AMBULANCE ramping is continuing to plague overstretched hospitals across the state with some facilities recording a staggering 12 per cent increase in a year.

New Queensland Health data for December 2018 has revealed an alarming number of patients not being moved from ambulance stretchers within the 30 minute target.

At Robina Hospital, 35 per cent of patients were forced to wait for a bed - up 10 per cent compared to December 2017.

In the month between November and December last year, there was a 9 per cent hike at the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital - with 35 per cent of patients having to wait.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the Labor Government had broken its election promise to provide a better health system for Queenslanders.

 

HospitalWebGraphic.jpg
HospitalWebGraphic.jpg

"Our hard working nurses, doctors, paramedics and midwives need more help on the frontline to improve patient care," she said.

"Instead, our public hospitals are bursting at the seams and ambulance ramping is rife."

Health Minister Steven Miles said more than 1.6 million patients visited an emergency department last financial year - an increase of 17,000 attendances compared to the year before.

Ambulances parked outside the RBWH emergency department, Herston. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Ambulances parked outside the RBWH emergency department, Herston. Picture: Liam Kidston.

"In December 2018, almost 175,000 people visited an emergency department," he said.

"That's 6 per cent more people than December 2017 including 14 per cent more Category 1 patients, the most critically ill.

"Despite these demand challenges, our paramedics, emergency department doctors and nurses are treating more patients than ever before.

"More people are being seen within clinically recommended times."

Ramping was the worst at Logan Hospital, with 40 per cent of patients having to queue for a bed in December last year.

This figure was the same in December 2017.

Mr Miles said Logan saw 8000 patients in December 2018 - 11 per cent more compared to December 2017.

"Despite the huge increase in demand, their performance has remained steady which is thanks to the hardworking staff at the hospital and local paramedics," he said.

Mr Miles said he was sick and tired of Ms Frecklington and the LNP talking down the state's hospitals.

"They don't care that more sick Queenslanders are being treated at our hospitals, instead they just want to insult the hardworking healthcare staff that save lives every day," he said.

"Across Queensland 35,800 people arriving via ambulance were off stretcher within 30 minutes.

"That's almost 2200 more patients off-stretcher within 30 minutes, despite almost 5000 more ambulance arrivals than December 2017."

The 30 minute target includes an ambulance parking at a hospital, the patient being moved to the triage area, triage by a specialised emergency nurse and transfer to a bed within the emergency department, before a full clinical handover between QAS and the ED clinical team.



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