Six ambulances ramped at Hervey Bay Hospital in one day

DELAYS in admitting patients to Hervey Bay Hospital are still causing problems for the region's paramedics with six ambulances ramped on Tuesday last week.

Ramping is when paramedics are waiting at the hospital with a patient until they can be seen and admitted by hospital staff.

This often means paramedics are not available to be called out on new emergencies.

A Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service spokesman said regular meetings were held with Queensland Ambulance Service to clear a pathway of escalation and communication.

"On Tuesday, December 1 there were six delays in ambulance turnaround, ranging in time from 32 minutes to 91 minutes, between the hours of 1.45am and 8.30pm," he said.

However, he said over the past 12 months vast improvements had been made due to the introduction of the Clinical Decision Unit last year.

"Delays in transfer to a bed can occur due to a range of factors, including patient numbers, the need to move patients between wards and the time required for patient transfer. At one point on Tuesday, four ambulances arrived in rapid succession, which is a potential delay trigger," he said.

"At no time are patients placed at risk, with medical staff monitoring them and commencing treatment as required, inside the hospital but on ambulance stretchers."

However, a solution is on the cards.

"WBHHS is hopeful of gaining final approval for an extension of the emergency department to keep pace with the current and projected rapid population growth in the area," he said.

"It is anticipated the project will cost up to $35 million and will go to tender by mid-2016."

Follow Lea Emery on Twitter @leae.

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