Vanishing front line beds pose threat to NHS future


England’s acute hospitals have lost over 5,600 front line beds – an overall reduction of more than one in twenty – in the 12 months to September this year, according to the most recent NHS figures.

The distribution of these reductions is wildly unequal: some hospitals have maintained similar numbers to a year ago, or even increased front line bed provision (the largest increase being 106). By contrast 21 hospital trusts have closed more than 100 beds, 4 trusts have closed more than 200 – and University Hospitals in Birmingham and Manchester have each closed over 400.

17 further trusts have seen reductions of between 50 and 97 beds, six of them equivalent to more than 10% of beds and one (Harrogate) having lost over 26%.

Full story - The Lowdown, 8 December 2020.