At the beginning of the year, the British Medical Association (BMA) published a report entitled NHS Pressures – Winter 2018/19 A Hidden Crisis.
The paper highlighted the key challenges and pressures faced by NHS England, as well as providing detailed statistics on A&E attendances and emergency admissions, cancer waiting times, and pressures experienced in primary care services.
The report also provided information on bed occupancy levels across NHS England.
And, while bed occupancy levels last winter were down slightly compared to the previous winter; the BMA confirmed that they still remained at ‘unsafe levels’.
NHS Improvement has further stated that bed occupancy levels which are above 92% will result in emergency care standards deteriorating, with the National Audit Office putting the maximum safe bed occupancy at 85%.
Last winter the bed occupancy rate across NHS England fell over the festive period before rising to 95% by 7 January and staying above 93% for the entire month.
In fact, excluding 21-29 December, bed occupancy did not drop below 92% all winter.
And occupancy remained at 94% in the first few days of March, before NHS England stopped publishing winter situational reports.
At that time, 3,428 ‘escalation beds’ remained open, which represented 3.5% of the total bed stock.
The BMA has since warned that pressures relating to high bed occupancy levels are no longer just a winter issue, with the Kings Fund’s quarterly monitoring report, published in July, reporting that bed occupancy is now the top concern for trust finance leads.
To address the issue, Medstrom has developed an innovative, cost-effective and responsive solution.
Its new bed rental offering is designed to address both the financial challenges and high bed occupancy issues which are being faced by the NHS now and throughout the coming months.
Medstrom has invested significant capital funds in a large fleet of hospital beds and offers free, next-day delivery, seven days a week, including delivery of each bed to the ward and full user training by highly-trained technicians.
This means that even if a hospital identifies an urgent need for escalation beds at 5pm on a Friday afternoon, Medstrom will deliver on Saturday.
This is offered to hospitals in mainland England, Wales and most parts of Scotland; while delivery to other areas of UK may take a day longer.
In addition to standard hospital beds, Medstrom is also offering its specialist ultra-low bed as part of the rental fleet.
And it is providing a choice of split-side rails or folding side rails on its ultra-low bed, enabling clinicians to select the most-appropriate option for each clinical environment and patient type.