As the Daily Mail highlights that the NHS needs FORTY THOUSAND more hospital beds in England alone to return to pre-pandemic standards of hospital care
- Health Foundation estimates it will cost the taxpayer up to £30billion to scale up
- People’s illnesses are to get more complex by 2030 as the population gets older
- England has fewer beds per person than Lithuania, Poland and Hungary
Royal Cornwall Hospital has once again declared a ‘critical incident’ following delays in discharging patients due to bed blocking. A spokesperson for Cornwall’s largest hospital told CornwallLive about the escalation today (Tuesday, July 12) after reports that ambulances were queueing up outside with emergency patients waiting to be seen.
Edward Church www.cornwalllive.com
The hospital, at Treliske, Truro, has escalated its alert level this high several times in the last few years. Most notoriously, it did so at the outset of the Covid pandemic and in October last year when its emergency department became swamped with patients.
Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) chief executive Steve Williamson said: “As a result of the acute pressure on our hospitals we are stepping up our escalation level to an internal critical incident. The number of people ready to leave our acute and community hospitals but waiting for care home places or care at home has risen by well over 20 percent since April.
“Without these delays, ambulances would not be held, and we would have enough hospital beds to admit people needing emergency and planned care. Although our Covid positive inpatient numbers have doubled in the last week, these patients are mostly in hospital for other reasons and effective infection prevention and control measures mean they are not impacting hugely on the availability of beds.
“Declaring an internal critical incident galvanises system partners to take additional and immediate steps to create capacity to aid the movement of patients through our hospitals and consequently releasing ambulances and their crews. Our population can help too by making sure they make the right choice if they need urgent care, either by contacting their own GP, even if here on holiday, seeing a pharmacist or calling 111 for advice on the most appropriate place for their needs.
“If families have a relative in hospital who they could help to get home sooner by supporting them in their home whilst they get back on their feet, it will release beds for others who need our care. We urge them to talk to the ward team about how we can work together to make that happen.”
The alert means the hospital admits it is overwhelmed. Last weekend, a hospital spokesperson made a public plea for people stay away unless they could not avoid it.
Problems are so bad that it’s being reported that paramedics are spending their whole 12-hour shifts in ambulances in queues at A&E.