Have Hospital Bed Numbers Gone Over the Edge?

In a new report from the Royal College of Physicians concern is expressed that the number of beds in general and acute hospital wards has fallen whilst patient numbers have risen.

The Report is entitled ‘Hospitals on the Edge- The Time For Action’ and says – worryingly- that there is now a chronic shortage of bed spaces which can lead to patients being shuffled round hospitals in the middle of the night to free up space.

This has inevitably meant that older patients, who are the people who predominantly use such beds, have been adversely and disproportionately affected. The moving of elderly, often frail, patients is causing concern not simply because of the distress it can cause but because it can also mean that the patients affected take longer to recover.

The proper and compassionate care of those in the later stages of life should not be damaged in this way. As an Age UK Director said the report underlines ‘the need for fundamental changes to the way we care for our older and ageing population’

If anyone has had a relative or friend who they believe may have been affected in this way then at O’Neill Injury Solicitors we would be keen to discuss it with them. We believe that the only way that this sort of practice is prevented from becoming more commonplace is by making it clear very firmly from the start that such practice is unacceptable and falls short of the high standard that the NHS has set itself.