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NHS beds in Wales cut as occupancy rates rise

Published on 26/10/2011

As the number of beds in Welsh NHS hospitals drops and the rate of occupancy increases, patients without private health insurance are being put at greater risk of catching a hospital infection.

New figures have revealed that there has been a 17% drop in the number of NHS beds in Wales since 2000. In the same period, the average number of people admitted to each bed has risen from 35.3 patients a year to 41.2.

In the last year, the Welsh NHS has lost a further 6% of its beds. Consequently, bed occupancy rates reached almost 85% in 2010-11, compared to only 80.5% ten years ago. Dr Richard Lewis, Welsh secretary of the British Medical Association, said:

“We know patients are still waiting on trolleys to find beds; elective surgery is being cancelled because of pressure on beds – this is an unacceptable reduction in bed numbers"

This reduction in beds could have a dangerous effect on the number of hospital acquired infections in Wales. Outbreak reports from Public Health Wales revealed that there were 440 outbreaks of hospital infections last year, compared to 225 recorded outbreaks in 2006.

Over the same period, the number of NHS beds has fallen from 13,582 in 2006-07 to 12,149 in 2010-11 – a drop of 1,433. "There’s a clear link between hospital-acquired infections, the overcrowding of beds and high bed occupancy rates,” said Dr Lewis.

Patients with private health insurance can avoid the consequences of the NHS cuts by staying in a private room with excellent facilities. With medical insurance, you can even choose your superbug free hospital to be treated in. Compare health insurance quotes online now to take advantage of our excellent private healthcare system.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
NHS beds in Wales cut as occupancy rates riseAs the number of beds in Welsh NHS hospitals drops and the rate of occupancy increases, patients without private health insurance are bein    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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