• UHNM has £15m bid rejected by NHS Improvement
  • Trust is keeping winter escalation beds open until summer

A trust with a bed deficit of more than 100 has had its bid for funding to open more beds rejected by NHS Improvement, HSJ has learned.

In March, University Hospitals of North Midlands requested £15m of capital funding to install an additional 75 beds.

The trust and its commissioners said UHNM has a bed deficit of 133 “leading to frequent queues of patients waiting for beds, primarily for medicine, but also trauma”.

A trust spokesman confirmed to HSJ the bid has not been included in NHSI’s funding allocations for the 2018-19 financial year. He said the trust may consider making another bid next year.

During a governing body meeting last week, North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent clinical commissioning groups accountable officer Marcus Warns said commissioners fully supported the trust’s bid and were “disappointed” it failed.

In March, the Department of Health and Social Care allocated capital funding for projects across the NHS worth £760m. Staffordshire was not among the sustainability and transformation partnerships receiving capital.

HSJ reported last month that the trust has been forced to keep its winter escalation beds open until at least June.

Trust board papers published this month said UHNM had over 200 patients who were medically fit for discharge waiting in beds in March, up from 100 the year before.

The papers also said the trust had to extend its “pause” on elective operations until the end of February to “support an ongoing need to expand the bed pool available for medicine”.

A spokeswoman for NHS Improvement said: “Our top priority in any consideration of this type is the benefit to patient care. While this bid from the trust was unsuccessful, there is now work underway - involving all partners - which will look at how we can extend capacity to meet increasing patient demand, particularly in acute care.

”NHS Improvement will consider any revised capital bid from the trust, once that vital work is complete.”

This story was updated at 16:22 on 16 April with a comment from NHS Improvement