NHS faces winter with ‘2,000 less’ beds than last year

The HSJ reports that a NHS England and Improvement director has admitted that the NHS has ‘significantly less’ beds now than last winter and parts of the system ‘don’t have enough’.

NHSE/I’s director of elective and emergency care and operations performance told a webinar last week that “there will be 2,000 beds less open this winter”.

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Katherine Henderson told HSJ the fall was “extremely alarming [and] truly shocking”, while Society for Acute Medicine president Susan Crossland said “for 2,000 less beds to be open this winter than last is unacceptable”.

The NHS’s general and acute bed base fell to 92,596 in the first quarter of 2020-21, according to the most recent quarterly published data, down from just over 100,000 for the same quarter in the two years before.

Full story in the HSJ, 22 October 2020