Mum with severe chest pain waits 5 hours at Ipswich Hospital

Courtney Fisher of Springfield Lakes recounts her recent experience at the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department. Pictured with her duaghters Lily, 3, and Annabelle, 1.
Courtney Fisher of Springfield Lakes recounts her recent experience at the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department. Pictured with her duaghters Lily, 3, and Annabelle, 1. David Nielsen

WHEN Courtney Fisher started experiencing excruciating chest pain she was hesitant to go the hospital.

But as the pain worsened her husband became increasingly concerned and made the call for an ambulance.

The paramedics who arrived at her Springfield Lakes home were also concerned and took Ms Fisher to the Ipswich Hospital emergency department.

Five hours later, still waiting to be seen, Ms Fisher decided lying on a stretcher in a crowded hallway wasn't the best place for her to be.

She left.

She was not treated and not admitted to the hospital.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service said that night staff were busy trying to stabilise a critically ill patient required who required urgent helicopter transfer for specialist treatment.

But Ms Fisher rejects the idea this was a once off incident.

Ambulance ramping is an issue that just won't go away at Ipswich Hospital, despite various steps taken by the State Government

The mother-of-two, who has a number of friends working as paramedics in Ipswich and spoke with some of the ambulance officers that night, says it happens constantly.

"There were at least ten ambulances parked up when I arrived and the hallway was packed with people," Mr Fisher said.

"This is not uncommon and it's an absolute disgrace."

Ms Fisher said she understands the sickest patients must be seen first and hasn't spoken out because she feels hard done by.

She's speaking out on behalf of the paramedics who aren't allowed to publicly comment on the issue of ambulance ramping.

"I feel so sorry for the paramedics. There was a young paramedic there who had just offloaded a patient after waiting five hours and as he walked out the door he made a comment to the affect of 'I will be back in 20 minutes to do this all over again'.

"I want to get this issue out there because something needs to change.

"We need less administration staff in Queensland Health and for the money to be redirected to funding more doctors and nurses."

Ipswich Hospital Executive Director Luke Worth said he understood patients did not want to wait , but sometimes staffing levels were difficult to predict and the sickest patients would always be treated first.

"We understand that no one wants to wait when they come to the Emergency Department, and we look to give people safe care as soon as possible," Mr Worth said.   

"In planning each Emergency Department shift, we look to match expected demand with staffing levels so that patients are seen within clinically recommended times.

"Sometimes demand is difficult to predict. When that happens, we need to put patient safety first and to give the sickest people priority."

Topics:  editors picks ipswich hospital

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