UK NHS Vacant Bed Level Drops to Lowest Level

Experts warned that the ‘unsustainable pressure’ would affect attempts to tackle the millions of patients waiting for care, as NHS hospitals struggle with fewer spare beds this time than at any point of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data showed that only 4,405 beds or 4.8 percent of England’s entire capacity were available as of April 12, while 14,000 were occupied by COVID-19 positive patients, and 20,000 were occupied by medically fit patients who have nowhere to be discharged.

Another pressure also came from backlogs that have built up over the pandemic.

Records show that the United Kingdom has fewer beds than other major European nations, while the vast majority are kept for general and acute care, such as treating illnesses and injuries.

Bed capacity dropped during COVID-19 as hospitals were forced to keep patients further apart in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading.

According to news reports, about 300,000 were stuck in the queue for hospital care for over a year.

However, leaked government forecasts suggested the situation would only get worse, with waiting lists set to keep growing for the next two years to 10.7million, or one in five people in England.

Statistics also revealed that NHS A&E performance plummeted to its worst-ever level in March — with 22,506 patients left waiting 12 hours to be treated.

Meanwhile, ambulance response times have also drastically worsened, leaving heart attack and stroke patients to routinely wait over an hour for paramedics to arrive.

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