HSJ’s essential round up of the day’s biggest health stories
- Today’s must know: NHS needs 5,000 more beds, warn leading A&E doctors
- Today’s talking point: Trust chief urges staff ‘speak to me directly’ following bullying claims
- Today’s question: Can STPs deliver?
- Important changes to your hsj.co.uk account: Important changes to your HSJ password
A&E doctors make timely call for more beds
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s call for 5,000 more beds, as exclusively reported by HSJ, is timely, with NHS leaders due to gather in coming days to collectively examine their winter plans.
The 4 per cent increase to the NHS’s 130,000 bed base would equate to an average hospital adding around 20 beds, and similar increases in mental and community providers, although there would be significant variation across the system.
After years of trying to drive bed numbers down of costly acute beds, system leaders now appear to have had a change of heart. They are also carrying out a detailed bed audit with what we assume is the intention of ensuring there are enough this winter – rather than taking out an excess.
NHS England set out new restrictions on hospital bed closures in March. It also disputed the suggestion in our article that the overall bed base was in decline. A spokesman said reported reductions were down to misreporting rather than a material drop. The precise truth will never be known – we are talking about a difference of a few hundred beds out of around 100,000. It appears a long sustained reduction in bed numbers may be slowing. Changes over the next 12 months will be watched closely.
Most of NHS England’s efforts to help address capacity have focused on optimising existing capacity by trying to better manage demand, speed up length of stay, discharges and improve overall flow.
The current bed audit, as well as helping manage demand pressures, might shed some light on the whole situation. We hope that in the interested of a well informed debate, the findings will be published in full.
Celebrate your organisation’s success
There are less than two weeks left to enter the 2017 HSJ Awards.
Here are six reasons to enter your organisation for the biggest healthcare awards in the world:
- It is the best way to highlight and showcase your team’s achievements and how you have transformed patient care.
- Life is tough in healthcare right now, staff are under pressure and it can be challenging to motivate your team of healthcare professionals – so let us do that for you.
- They are free to enter.
- It can be a great way to critique your project. Just entering will mean you will have to measure the success of your improvement project against our set criteria.
- The awards help spread best practice across the UK – learn from others or help teach others through your innovation.
- Position your trust as a frontrunner and receive national recognition from your peers.
For more information about the categories and entry criteria, download the awards brochure.