'Deeply worrying' waits for hospital beds

- BBC Health Correspondent - 7th December 2016

More than one in 10 patients in England face long delays for a hospital bed after emergency admission.

BBC analysis of NHS figures showed nearly 475,000 patients waited for more than four hours for a bed on a ward in 2015-16 - almost a five-fold increase since 2010-11. Hospitals reported using side rooms and corridors to cope with the growing number of "trolley waits".

NHS bosses acknowledged problems, blaming "growing demand" on the system.

But doctors said hospitals were now dangerously overcrowded, with three quarters of hospitals reporting bed shortages as winter hits. Bed occupancy is not meant to exceed 85% - to give staff time to clean beds, keep infections low and ensure patients who need beds can be found them quickly. But 130 out of 179 hospital trusts are reporting rates exceeding this for general hospital beds.

Hospital managers said the problem was causing "deeply worrying" delays for these patients. They are people who have already faced a wait to be seen in A&E but whose condition is deemed to be so serious they need to be admitted on to a ward. About one in five people who come to A&E fall into this category and it includes the frail elderly and patients with chest pains, breathing problems and fractures.


Patients waiting more than four hours for a hospital bed

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NHS trails rest of the EU for medics, beds and scanners and UK has shortest maternity stays of any country

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s annual report into EU healthcare shows that on a range of statistics Britain is faring badly:

  • UK has 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people – behind only Romania and Poland
  • Britain is also third worst for the number of hospital beds per head


Daniel Martin - Daily Mail - 24th November 2016


Britain has the shortest maternity stays and among the fewest hospital beds, doctors and cancer scanners in the EU, a study shows. It lays bare the extent to which the NHS is labouring, highlighting the fact that the UK has the third lowest number of hospital beds per head of population.

The average maternity stay of 36 hours, or 1.5 days – condemned as ‘conveyor belt care’ – puts Britain on a par with non-EU country Turkey. And this is less than half the EU average stay of 3.2 days, far lower than the 4.1 common in France and five in Croatia.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s annual report into EU healthcare shows that on a range of statistics Britain fares worse than a number of countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

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NHS blog: Home surgery could spell the end of NHS cuts - this is NOT funny

From: https://www.networks.nhs.uk/editors-blog/home-surgery-could-spell-end-to-nhs-cuts  Julian Patterson 4th November 2016


The BBC and Independent last week reported  that a man with a gangrenous foot cut off his own toes after a hospital operation had been cancelled. Doctors said the operation, performed with a pair of surgical pliers had probably saved the man’s foot. It also saved the NHS the cost of putting him under the knife.

The government said the case illustrated the potential to improve NHS outcomes and efficiency without inconveniencing taxpayers or putting further demands on hard-working ministers preoccupied with Brexit plans.

Operating framework

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Julia Simon: "STPs and ACOs: solutions for a 'bankrupt' NHS and social care system"?

Talk given at the Learie Constantine centre, Dudden Hill Lane, on 1st December 2016 at the invitation of Brent Patient Voice to an audience of 50 people.

Dr Julia Simon was until Sept 2016 the head of NHS England's commissioning policy unit and its programme director of co-commissioning of primary care.

She had worked at London and national NHS level since 2012 on CCG and commissioning issues.


Dr Simon referred to a small number of presentation slides.

"There has been a split between commissioning and provision for over 25 years. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act aims to create a truly clinically led system with GPs in the driving seat. But the outcome is actually a fragmented commissioning system with three main budget holders across CCGs, NHSE and local authorities (public health), and a bewildering number of other national organisations.

In my view healthcare isn't a market: hospitals do not fail. They are always bailed out in order to give citizens care - which seems obvious. Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health responsible for the introduction of the HSCS Act, is married to a GP.


There were 212 in 2012 and there are 209 now. They are legally constituted by their members and all practising GPs must be members of one. CCGs have a statutory duty to (1) improve primary care and (2) to engage citizens.


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