10,000 more beds needed, warn doc­tors

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS -

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

300,000.

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