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Summary

  1. Live from Ipswich Hospital's A&E on 16 March 2017
  2. Four-hour accident and emergency waits rise 300% at some hospitals
  3. Hospital saw 245 people during the 24 hours
  4. 'Staff are like my friends,' says patient, 90

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. That's it for our live updates

    After a marathon 24-hour stint, our updates have come to an end.

    A huge thank you to everyone at Ipswich Hospital - staff and patients - for making us so welcome and for giving us their honest accounts about what life is like in the NHS in 2017.

    Please scroll back down to the page to catch up on all the stories we've brought you as the day unfolded.

    We're going to leave you with a video we've made summing up the events of Thursday, 16 March 2017.

    Thank you for joining us.

    Video content

    Video caption: Ipswich Hospital: Visitor views of A&E in a word
  2. #AandElive: The final countdown

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    The last few hours here at Ipswich Hospital have seen a flurry of patients through the door - 45 of them since 20:00, to be precise.

    Thirty-nine people are still in the A&E department and there's a wait time for three and a half hours at the moment because of the recent influx.

    Waiting room

    Since we started our live page at midnight, 245 people have come through the doors for treatment.

  3. A&E in a word: 'Excellent'

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    James Martin, who had put his tooth through his lip in an accident during a basketball game, has been treated and has been sent home from the hospital with his mum Philippa.

    Before they left, we asked them for their A&E in a word suggestion:

    Philippa and James Martin
  4. 'We would never compromise patient care'

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Sally Knight has been working as an advanced clinical practitioner at Ipswich Hospital's emergency department for the last three years.

    Her "innovative" role - created as the result of a trial in the Midlands a few years ago - sees her treat adults and children, major cases and minors, across all areas of the department. "Anything and everything," she says.

    Sally Knight

    Sally says it has been a less busy night than they'd usually expect in majors, but was really busy in paediatrics.

    "We do think about the four-hour standard," she said. "If we don't strive for that then there are patients who will have discomfort, physically or mentally, because they are waiting.

    "But it's about finding a balance. We would never compromise patient care to meet the standard."

  5. Blue butterfly system explained

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Earlier on today, pictures of blue butterflies were placed in locations around the emergency department's "majors" section.

    The hospital uses them as a system to let paramedics, nurses, doctors and other visitors to the area know there's recently been a death in the department.

    Blue butterfly

    "We had the butterflies in place earlier when one of our patients in the department died," said Adam Ransome, assistant lead nurse.

    "It's really used for us just to say, 'this has happened, be respectful' to those coming into the department who will be unaware of what's happened and that people will be grieving.

    "We keep them in place until the patient has been moved on to the mortuary."

  6. Forget 10,000 steps a day. Try 24,000 in seven hours.

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    In our time at Ipswich Hospital, the team and I have managed to walk quite a long way as we've circled the emergency department chatting to people.

    But our exercise efforts have got nothing on Jackson Underwood, who works as a technician and a porter.

    Phone

    "Since 15:00, I've walked 10.45 miles (16.8km) - that's 24,000 steps," he told me

    "When I work as a porter elsewhere in the hospital, I have to wear steel toe capped boots. But you could never wear steelies in this job - even in normal shoes, it's difficult on your feet."

    Jackson Underwood

    Jackson also gave us his A&E in a word - we're going to forgive him for actually using two words because he's probably tired from all that walking.

  7. Toddler with a temperature brought in to A&E

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Two-year-old Esmae has been brought in by her mum and dad, Melissa Clarke and Thomas Plant. 

    "Esmae's had a temperature since last night, and she hasn't been drinking either," Ms Clarke told me. "At one point it hit 40 so we thought we'd better bring her in."

    Melissa Clarke and Thomas Plant, with Esmae

    "You expect a wait when you come to A&E, don't you? Esmae has tonsillitis last year and the same thing happened," Ms Clarke added.

  8. Basketball accident prompts A&E visit for mum and son

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Fifteen-year-old James Martin, from Woodbridge, came into the paediatric emergency department at 20:00 after he was hurt during a basketball game.

    "Someone shouldered me and my tooth went through my lip," he said.

    Philippa and James Martin

    "I've done the same thing before - once at go-karting, and once at hockey. But this is the first time I'm come to A&E for it."

    His mum Philippa, 48, said their experience of the hospital had been "excellent" - though she had brought a flask of coffee in anticipation of a fairly long wait ahead.

  9. School pupil comes in after hurting foot in PE lesson

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Katie Ratliff, 12, and her dad Stephen, 42, have been in the paediatric waiting room since 18:15.

    Yesterday at school, Katie - who's in year seven - slipped on some mats in a PE lesson and crushed her foot on the floor.

    Katie and Stephen Ratliff

    "I've been struggling to walk on my foot - it really hurts. A nurse has checked me over but we're waiting to see someone else now," Katie said.

    Her dad Stephen said other people had been waiting much longer than them. "There's so many people whizzing backwards and forwards around us that it makes you feel dizzy. It's so busy here tonight."

  10. 'There's a different way of looking after child patients'

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Rhyan Zambrano has worked at Ipswich Hospital as a nurse for 13 years, the last five of which have been spent in the paediatric A&E unit.

    "There's a different way of looking after child patients," he said. "You're not just looking after them; often you're looking after their parents, too, who can get very distressed."

    Rhyan Zambrano

    He told me it's been a really busy night in the department so far, with two resuscitation cases brought in by ambulance which were "red phone" calls (meaning they needed urgent attention once they arrived in hospital).

    He said he believed the four-hour waiting target was "achieveable". "There are certain cases where it's unavoidable that it takes a bit longer because a patient has a certain condition," he said. "Or sometimes they're about to be sent home, but there might be a last minute change in their observations so we keep them in. We're often more cautious here than with the adults."

  11. School report: What do young people think of the NHS?

    While we've been reporting live from Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency department, a group of schoolchildren have been working with our newsroom colleagues to make a film about the NHS.

    Here's what they think of it...

    View more on facebook
  12. The latest numbers...

    Adam Ransome, the assistant lead nurse, has just been into our makeshift office with a scribbled note showing the latest numbers on admissions to the accident and emergency department.

    Adam Ransome

    Right now there are...

    • 56 people in the department
    • Two people are in the resuscitation area
    • Three are in the "majors" section
    • Five ambulances are en route with more patients
    • 17 people are in the pediatric department
    • 11 are waiting to see an emergency nurse practitioner

    And all that means there's still a two-hour wait to see a doctor, with a three-hour wait for the emergency nurse practitioners.

  13. Rob, 18, facing a wait for news on arm injury

    Among those in the waiting room is 18-year-old Rob Taylor, who's with his father, John.

    He was injured during a school hockey match earlier.

    "I don't know if I've broken my arm," he said. "I can't rotate it."

    He's been waiting to be seen since 17:45.

    "We expected to wait," said John. "It's usually busy here."

    Rob Taylor and John Taylor
  14. 'Right now we're in limbo'

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    Paul Allison's 69-year-old dad Geoffrey is in one of the bays in the emergency department. He was brought in with chest pains - but had only been discharged from hospital yesterday after having been brought in with a possible cardiac arrest.

    Geoffrey went to his GP a couple of days ago and was immediately sent to A&E, where he evenutally had tests and a brain scan as it was thought he may have had a mini-stroke.

    Paul Allison

    "He was initially supposed to have a scan when he was here yesterday, but an emergency came in and they couldn't fit him in, so he was given an outpatient appointment," Mr Allison said of his father.

    "This afternoon he started having the pains again. It's not good enough. If he'd had a scan and further treatment before, perhaps he wouldn't be here now. We would have had peace of mind, but right now we're in limbo."

  15. Current wait time in A&E at 90 minutes

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    I've been to the front desk of the "majors" section of A&E here at Ipswich Hospital, where staff are about 10 minutes away from handing over to the night shift.

    I've been told from 18:15 to 19:15, 13 patients were admitted to the emergency department, and 22 were admitted in the hour before that.

    In total, there are currently 51 patients in A&E as a whole, with an hour and a half's wait to be seen.

    Waiting room
  16. It's getting busy here...

    Mark Bulstrode

    BBC News

    We're entering the final few hours of our 24-hour live page... and we're now in what's probably going to be the busiest period.

    The waiting room is fast filling up and it's just been treated to BBC Look East's report on our activities here today.

    Waiting room

    Laurence Cawley and Richard Haugh have signed off for the day and Jodie Halford and I will guide you through from now until midnight.

    Stick with us, we have no idea what's going to happen next.

    BBC Look East
  17. Catching up with this morning's patient

    Jodie Halford

    BBC News

    You might remember we were speaking earlier to John Ward, who arrived in hospital at 10:00 this morning.

    He'd suffered a number of falls and was being checked over by staff in a bay in Ipswich Hospital's A&E unit.

    John Ward

    Since then, he's been taken to the surgical assessment unit where he'll stay overnight while staff do further examinations to find out how he is.

    "They've told me I might go home tomorrow or the day after. They're trying to make sure I'll be alright when I get home."

  18. A&E in a word...

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    During the day, we have been asking patients and staff to summarise their experience of accident and emergency in a single word.

    Here are the latest 'words'.

    in a word
    in a word
    in a word
    in a word
    in a word
    in a word
  19. Olive, once a ballroom dancer, is about to go home

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    At the start of the day we met a lovely couple in their 90s called Olive and Ken Davies from Ipswich. 

    Olive Davies

    Olive arrived at A&E at about 06:30 suffering with chest pains. She has previously had a double hart bypass, so chest pains for her are potentially an emergency situation.

    After being seen at A&E she was transferred to the medical assessment unit for a series of tests. We're pleased to say she has been thoroughly checked over and her pacemaker is working properly. 

    Staff have decided to alter her medication in the hope that will help. Olive, 90, says she is now feeling much better.

    "I am so grateful for all they have done," said Olive. "The staff here are like friends."

    Olive, once a competitive ballroom dancer, and husband Ken, 92, a former Army physical training instructor and veteran of the Normandy landings, are poised to leave for home very shortly.