What is the bed occupancy?
Bed occupancy is the number of hospital beds occupied by patients expressed as a percentage of the total beds available in the ward, speciality, hospital, area, or region. It is used to assess the demands for hospital beds and giving an appropriate balance between demands for health care and a number of beds. This is likely to be a cause for concern, especially during the winter months because a large number of people fall ill during the cold weather especially the elderly or people suffering from long-term conditions. NHS Providers fear that lives could be lost because patients are made to wait for long periods of time in ambulances outside the A&E.
There is a study which revealed that hospitals are already full, STP proposals in some areas to cut beds are undesirable and unachievable. Staffing shortages are also a concern. While there has been a 2% increase in the total number of full-time equivalent staff since August 2016, there are now fewer nurses than there was the previous year. This puts patients’ lives at risks as corners likely to be cut and person-centred care not provided. Some nurses and emergency consultants are working overtime; this can lead to compassionate fatigue or even quitting.