The government have announced an additional £300 million for investment mainly in beds and staff to help manage the extra pressures on the health service this winter. This takes the total funds to some £700 million. CCGs, working with local providers, have been asked to bid for funds.
Unavailability of beds is seen as a key contributor to delays in A&E, where the Government’s target of 95% of patients treated within 4 hours has been missed for the past 16 months. And over 6,500 patients have waited on trollies for over 12 hours before being admitted to a hospital bed. Double the number for the same period last year.
The Deputy COO of a London Teaching Hospital recently stated “We knew things were going to be bad, but we need to know exactly how bad so that we can aim to fix the problem”.
Checklist Bed Manager provides detailed and accurate forecast of bed capacity and outcomes. For further information click here.
With the exception of one hospital in Torbay, all the hospitals in the South West have shown year on year increases in cancelled operations. The trusts have said that the operation were cancelled as no beds were available. The increases vary from 4% to 136% at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, 156 operations in all. North Devon Healthcare cancelled 341 operations at the last minute, a 51% increase year on year.
As well as causing anxiety & risks to patients, cancelled operations cancelled on the day of admission are expensive. Trusts do not get paid for the original or the re-scheduled operation. These costs can run into tens of thousands of pounds.
The issue is becoming a political hot potato, with Labour blaming Government reforms. The conservatives say that, although emergency funding is being provided, there needs to be changes in the way the NHS operates to cope with these pressures.
One Deputy COO told Checklist “we knew we had a problem coming, but we could have handled it better if we had more warning of the scale”.
For further information see Checklist Bed Manager.