Responding to the first set of additional weekly winter monitoring reports by NHS England, Prof Dame Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nursing Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary, said:
“The cold weather is only just beginning to bite, yet it seems NHS performance dipped to a worrying level for mild temperatures last week. One in ten hospital trusts in England hit capacity on at least one day in just the first week of December, and had not a single bed to spare. Two were at 100% capacity every day1. And because the reporting system doesn’t allow Trusts to record more than 100% bed occupancy, these figures often mask large numbers of patients on trolleys and chairs waiting for a bed to become available.
"The NHS desperately needs more beds, but can’t open them without more nurses to staff them – and with 42,000 nursing vacancies in England, this problem is only going to get worse, not better.
“As the weather turns colder and winter begins in earnest, these figures leave questions to be answered about how hospital services will cope. The forthcoming long-term plan for the NHS in England must address the year-round pressures in the health and social care system”
Notes to Editors
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- Read the full NHS England data tables here.