Rockhampton Four ambulances parked outside the Emergency Department at the Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton Four ambulances parked outside the Emergency Department at the Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK290816chospital8

Rockhampton Hospital sees increase in ramping

THERE'S been an increase in ramping at Rockhampton Hospital this month due to a spike in emergency department admissions.

'Ramping' has been happening regularly, with paramedics tending to patients in ambulance vehicles.

Ramping is a hospital term used for a lack of available beds in the emergency department, leading to patients being treated in the safety of ambulances.

A member of the public contacted The Morning Bulletin on June 12 about the hospital's recent ramping.

"I was just up at the Rocky Base seeing a relative there,” the reader said.

"There was about 10 ambulances backed up at the hospital.”

A number of ambulance workers have also commented on the increase of ramping at the hospital this month.

The increase in emergency room admissions has been due to a mix of trauma cases and illnesses, including frail and aged patients at the hospital.

Rockhampton Hospital executive director Wendy Hoey said the increase of seriously ill and injured admissions was due to several reasons.

"Winter is traditionally a busy time for the hospital and we have strategies in place to help us deal with this, including working hard on hospital avoidance programs to allow people to be treated at home and in the community rather than in hospital,” Ms Hoey said.

"Our fabulous staff have been working closely with Queensland Ambulance Service to process patients as quickly and as smoothly as possible to ensure everyone who needs our care gets it when they need it.

"All our category-one patients (the most seriously injured or ill) are treated immediately and this is thanks to our dedicated staff who work tirelessly across the hospital,” she said.

"It is important to note that in busy periods patients with less-urgent conditions may need to wait to be seen while others are receiving life-saving treatment.”

Ms Hoey said getting vaccinated was the most effective way of avoiding the flu and minimising its spread.

Other methods include proper hand washing, covering a cough with a tissue or your arm, and staying home when sick.



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