Beds shortage strikes Shropshire hospital wards

Hospital bosses in Shropshire today renewed their call to patients to think twice before using 999 and A&E services after new figures revealed the county's two main hospitals had no spare beds on at least 12 days last month.


The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was one of the 10 worst hit trusts in the country as an increase in winter admissions piled massive pressure on the health service across the country.


The average occupancy rate of the country’s hospitals stood at close to 95 per cent throughout January, a study of occupancy rates of the NHS’s 101,000 hospital beds on 22 days during the month has shown.


Across those 22 days, the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal hospitals had no beds available on 12 days.


The worst hit was Tameside Hospital Trust, in Greater Manchester, which was full on every day it was checked.


Officials said Shropshire’s hospitals were trying to cope with the usual seasonal increase in patients.


Mags Barnaby, head of emergency access and patient flow at the trust, said: “Our emergency departments are very busy at the moment managing the increased demand for services NHS hospitals face at this time of year.


“We are working closely with our partners in health and social care to improve patient flow through our hospitals. This is to ensure people are not spending longer than they have to in hospital, and that beds are free for those who need them.


“The help of the public is very much appreciated at this time, and we would urge them to only use 999 or A&E for serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries.”


Officials said they were carrying out a series of key measures to improve the movement of patients through the hospitals.


They include urging people to have a plan in place to leave hospital in the morning of their date of discharge, to ensure more beds are available for new admissions and working with other NHS partners to make sure people who no longer need specialist care are discharged to the appropriate place.



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