Extra hospital beds made available for winter – NHS England
Health / Thu 27th Jul 2023 at 07:55am
AN extra 5,000 hospital beds will be available this winter to help the NHS in England to cope, health bosses say reports the BBC.
It will mean nearly 100,000 permanent beds accessible at the busiest time of the year – a 5% rise on current levels.
NHS England is also promising quicker discharge arrangements to get patients out of hospital when they are medically-fit to leave.
This will be achieved through the rollout of what have been dubbed “care traffic control centres”.
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The British Medical Association's statement on beds in December 2022: "Compared to other nations, the UK has a very low total number of hospital beds relative to its population. The average number of beds per 1,000 people in OECD EU nations is 5, but the UK has just 2.4. Germany, by contrast, has 7.8. Combined with staffing shortages, an insufficient core bed stock means that hospitals are less able to cope with large influxes of patients, for example during winter or periods of high demand." See https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/nhs-delivery-and-workforce/pressures/nhs-hospital-beds-data-analysis
The new PAH will be run at 95% bed occupancy rate. However, both NHS Providers and the British Medical Association say 85% is a safe level. Compare this with NHS England’s priority to reduce bed occupancy to no more than 92% in 2023-24. See National Audit Office report, Key Facts on page 4 at: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/New-hospital-programme-report.pdf
Will there be extra staff.?