10,000 more beds needed, warn doctors
THE NHS in England needs 10,000 additional beds in hospitals this winter in order to keep patients safe, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said.
The doctors’ union said that in order to keep bed occupancy at safe levels over winter, hospitals need to boost capacity.
The BMA warned that the coming winter period “could be the worst on record” for emergency departments as it predicted a rise in the number of A&E attendances, longer waits and more people needing hospital admissions.
New analysis from the organisation suggests that between January and March next year:
The total number of emergency hospital admissions will rise to more than 1.6 million from 1.5 million this year.
■■The number of A&E patients waiting over four hours at major emergency departments could increase to over one million.
■■Once a decision has been made to admit someone the number of so-called “trolley waits” of four hours or more will rise from 226,000 to 238,000. Or in the worst-case scenario it could rise to more than