NHS bed capacity “continues to be drained”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today demanded the Scottish Government ensure there are enough NHS beds available in acute specialities to meet demand, after figures published by ISD Scotland reveal the number of beds has continued to decrease.

The average number of available hospital beds in Scotland has been decreasing over the years. In 2017/18, the available beds for acute specialties was 13,426 - a 2% decrease on last year and a 4% reduction when compared to 2012/13.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“The public will be rightly concerned that acute bed capacity continues to be drained.

“We know 1 in 13 beds in Scotland are occupied by patients on delayed discharge - people who have been declared ready to leave hospital but lack the community care they need.

"The social care system and mental health services are dangerously depleted and all too often hospitals are left to pick up the pieces.

“Models of care are changing but hospitals need to be able to meet demand. Ministers need to take a fresh look at NHS bed numbers and ensure they are giving staff the resources and funding they need.”

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