The King's Fund calls for a review of hospital bed numbers
‘Winter has now hit the NHS: stats show an alarming decline in accident and emergency (A&E) performance with performance against the four-hour target in major A&E units reaching a new low point. More shockingly still, there has been a stark jump in number of people stuck waiting a very long time on a trolley before being admitted to hospital. The number of people who are waiting more than 12 hours after the point it was decided to admit them has more than doubled since the previous month to over 2,300, more than 8 times higher than the number last year.
‘Hospital bed numbers have fallen significantly over the past decade. With hospitals running full to capacity and patients waiting an unacceptably long time for the urgent care they need, it is clear that bed reductions have gone too far. Twenty years on from the national beds inquiry we need a new review of the number of beds and appropriate staffing levels needed to cope with this rising demand on NHS hospitals.
‘Critically, if we are to open more hospital beds, we will need additional nurses and doctors to staff them and the NHS is currently in the grips of a major workforce crisis. For a long time now NHS staff have done all they can to hold up performance under extreme pressure, but they cannot continue to do their best for patients without more support, whether in hospital or outside of hospital.
‘This is the first big test for the new Conservative government. They have promised more money for the NHS but it is vital that they also deliver on their other pledges to stabilise the health and care system, including a credible plan to increase the workforce and urgent reform of social care.’
Notes to editors
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).
The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.
Latest News from
Adam Smith Inst - Response to winter economy plan: sensible but not costless24/09/2020 14:35:00
The Adam Smith Institute has released the following statement in response to the Winter Economy Plan.
Ethnic minorities most at risk from debt as economic crisis creates Covid-19 ‘double whammy’, finds IPPR24/09/2020 11:35:00
One in eight employed before pandemic are now out of work, more than twice the UK average, according to new analysis by think tank
IFS - Even after the COVID-19 crisis, councils will need billions of extra funding to address a growing funding gap24/09/2020 10:35:00
English councils are facing a financial double whammy, with increases in costs and losses in income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis coming on top of underlying upwards pressures on spending, especially for adults’ and children’s social care services.
King's Fund - Urgent action is needed to improve working conditions for nurses and midwives24/09/2020 09:35:00
New minimum standards to improve working conditions and a review of 12-hour shifts are needed to address exhaustion and burnout among nurses and midwives, according to a new report from The King’s Fund, commissioned by the RCN Foundation.
10pm closing time “from a random policy generator” says IEA expert22/09/2020 12:35:00
Christopher Snowdon responds to latest coronavirus measures
Every two weeks of lockdown could cost the UK at least £8 billion in lost output, says IEA expert22/09/2020 11:35:00
Julian Jessop, IEA Economics Fellow, commented on the potential economic impact of a second national lockdown
Adam Smith Inst - The state of the (student) unions22/09/2020 10:35:00
The report, from the free market Adam Smith Institute, argues that student unions are perceived as ineffective by students, lack democratic legitimacy, and undermine freedom of association and expression. Extraordinarily, it finds that student unions that receive higher block grants from universities tend to be poorer performing in the National Student Survey.
IFS - Larger funding cuts for schools in poor areas leave them badly placed to deal with COVID-19 challenges22/09/2020 09:35:00
Schools serving more deprived pupils face major challenges over the next few years. Educational inequalities will have widened during lockdown. Planned increases in teacher starting salaries will also weigh more heavily on such schools, given they are more likely to employ new teachers.