Written Answers from the Department of Health and Social Care Regarding Hospital Beds

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (117396):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to increase the number of beds in NHS hospitals. (117396)

Tabled on: 06 January 2023

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of NHS hospital beds. (117756)
    Tabled on: 06 January 2023

Answer:
Will Quince:

As part of the NHS England’s operational resilience and capacity plan for winter, the National Health Service is increasing bed capacity by the equivalent of 7,000 general and acute hospital beds. This includes a mix of new physical beds and innovative virtual wards.

On 9 January the Government announced £200 million of funding to allow local areas to buy thousands of extra beds in care homes and other settings to help discharge more patients who are fit to leave hospital and free up hospital beds for those who need them. This is an addition of the £500 million Adult Social Care Discharge Fund announced in December which is also supporting hospital bed capacity.

The answer was submitted on 11 Jan 2023 at 14:09.

24 Comments

  1. Mark B
    January 14, 2023

    Good moring.

    7000 !

    We have just had a population increase of over half a million. The people illegally entering my country and filling up private hotels in the last year is more than that !

    We can encourage the building of more and more houses and apartments but, we cannot find the cash to build more hospitals ot beds.

    How much was wasted of Track and Trace ? How many hospitals and beds that money could have built.

    1. graham1946
      January 14, 2023

      7000 is less than half the number Osborne cut in his failed austerity programme which mucked up just about all services, NHS, Fire, Police etc. Easy to cut, harder to reverse and more costly, even not allowing for the rise in population. Does anyone seriously believe the population is 67 million?

      1. margaret
        January 14, 2023

        Its Brexit that has caused an huge rise in population not free EU movement of decades .. Brexit has caused the NHS to fall . ! I despair . these people who blame Brexit on to every aspect of UK life are supposed to be intelligent and the media listens and spouts out the same rubbish because somewhere along the line they have narrow vision and university closeted views.

  2. formula57
    January 14, 2023

    Getting whole truth answers from Ministers is like extracting teeth! How many of the 7,000 are “innovative virtual wards”, i.e. the patient is at home in their own bed?

    I see “in a virtual ward, support can include remote monitoring using apps, technology platforms, wearables and medical devices such as pulse oximeters. Support may also involve face-to-face care from multi-disciplinary teams based in the community…” – found @ https://www.england.nhs.uk/virtual-wards/what-is-a-virtual-ward/

  3. Nottingham Lad Himself
    January 14, 2023

    What is needed is to increase dramatically the capacity in intermediate care so as to enable the discharge of the many who need this rather than hospitalisation.

    However, yet another of the baleful effects of brexit has been to create a staffing crisis in this sector.

    There really is no good news is there?

    The much-vaunted domino effect that brexit was supposed to trigger never materialised did it? No, on the contrary, recent polls across the European Union show its peoples to be ever more resolutely opposed to leaving it – and we can guess why.

    Let’s not forget, that Cameron intended to hold his cheap, election gimmick referendum in 2010 while the European Union was still reeling from the global 2008 banking crisis, but was prevented by the LDs.

    Well, they did some good at least.

    Reply I and other Brexiteers have never suggested other countries will leave and have not encouraged them to do so.

    1. graham1946
      January 14, 2023

      Not surprising, when most of them are getting life support with money from the prosperous ones.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 14, 2023

        As are most by far US states.

        Those tend to vote R, whereas the successful ones vote D.

        1. graham1946
          January 15, 2023

          No answer, so off we go on another irrelevant tack to try to shut down views they don’t like – the usual lefty response when they have no argument. Whataboutery writ large.

    2. Richard II
      January 14, 2023

      ‘Let’s not forget’ either that statements made by this lad usually collapse when fact-checked, and his latest is no exception. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said in Parliament in 2008 that the Liberal Democrats “would like to have a referendum on the major issue of whether we are in or out of Europe”. The Lib Dem 2010 election manifesto said it remained committed to an in/out referendum “the next time a British government signs up for a fundamental change in the relationship” with the EU. The Conservative Party, however, only proposed an in/out referendum as such in 2015. In 2010 it called for referendums on accepting elements of the EU constitution and on further transfers of power in 2005 and 2010, but not at that point for an in/out referendum.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49753420

      Why NLH thinks he can get away with his constant creative rewriting of our political history, I can’t imagine.

      1. Mickey Taking
        January 14, 2023

        creative or from a 1917 timewarp?

  4. Berkshire Alan
    January 14, 2023

    So no new beds then, just payment to take up space in a nursing home.
    Whilst the above is certainly cheaper than keeping people in a hospital bed who do not need one, and thus does release some “blocked” bed capacity, no new beds are being created are they.
    A virtual Ward I assume does not mean virtual staff, because someone surely has to monitor patients, supply meds, food, drink, dress wounds, with some sort of progressive assessment. etc etc. or is this supposed to be a DIY Jobbie by the patient, which can hardly be called care at all !.

  5. Anselm
    January 14, 2023

    I hope I have got this right. So there are a third of a million front line nurses and doctors in the NHS. There are also another three quarters of a million workers who aren’t. Of these there are some 23,000 managers of which 11,000 (half of them) are “senior managers”.
    In Peterborough and Wisbech two large hotels have been annexed for illegal immigrants, where they are housed, fed and warmed. I understand they are just part of a countrywide network.
    Meanwhile the bed blockers of the hospitals are too difficult to cope with.
    Did anyone else read Rod Liddle in this week’s Speccie?

  6. Bryan Harris
    January 14, 2023

    These extra hospital beds are going to be placed where – in hospital corridors?

    1. a-tracy
      January 14, 2023

      In the wards they were taken out of Bryan. Labour removed 26,000 beds, google factcheck, then Cameron continued the practice with even more beds taken out of already existing hospitals. They now have more staff with less beds so productivity drops.

      1. Bryan Harris
        January 14, 2023

        @a-tracy
        My nearest hospital has the wards already full of beds, which was why I asked.
        Also there are numerous beds in main corridors – some broken, suggesting the beds removed may have been spares?

        1. a-tracy
          January 14, 2023

          There were 4,000 beds magic’d up for the nightingales, you would have thought they’d have been split between all the UK hospitals, The Yorkshire Post said Notes to the accounts said the “bespoke beds” couldn’t be used in existing hospitals after the Nightingales closed “as the specifications were not to the current standard as implemented in all hospitals”. But they would have been better than broken beds or no beds.

          The North Staffs hospital has been massively expanded, new wards built, it is massive compared to what it was.

    2. Mickey Taking
      January 14, 2023

      where? ….keep up! Most patients don’t need all that stuff wired up on the wall. They could move beds along a bit and and fit another in between. You only get a 2 minute chat with a nurse about 3 times a day in recovery wards anyway.

  7. glen cullen
    January 14, 2023

    ”innovative virtual wards”
    Is someone taing the piss

    1. a-tracy
      January 14, 2023

      Yes, they say a carehome costs at least £888 per week is this figure including all the food? The average double en-suite hotel room costs around £75 per day other than London with discounts for longer stays, that includes breakfast so £525 pw. So £363 for the staff and food to look after the elderly who are fit but can’t go home because they have some additional care needs.

      How much does a day in hospital cost the NHS?
      the daily charge for NHS inpatient treatment is increased from £913 to £915. the maximum charge in respect of an injury is increased from £54,566 to £54,682.

      (But is this because they took beds out of hospitals that used to be there so the cost per person is a lot higher)?

      1. a-tracy
        January 14, 2023

        Sorry copied wrong link to the Kingsfund 2018. How much is a hospital bed per night UK?
        For hospital beds that are more equipped and a higher spec (like the Interlude range), then the price is around £2,100 depending on the extras that you include. Hospital bed prices can start from anywhere around £1500 per night.

    2. Mickey Taking
      January 14, 2023

      In Wokingham thousands of people are having innovative virtual GP care.

    3. Mickey Taking
      January 15, 2023

      err…YES!

  8. Kayla S Tomlinson
    January 14, 2023

    What is a virtual ward? Patients aren’t virtual, they are real.

  9. Bloke
    January 14, 2023

    At face value from the loose answer, the unspecified proportion of ‘virtual beds’ could be as high as 99%. ‘Virtual beds’ could be people in their own beds at home trying against stiff resistance to speak to someone for medical response by phone. Phoning from bed is little different from phoning from a public call box trying to obtain a GP appointment within two weeks. The reality of what Will Quince describes might be better, but he should have been less sloppy in his response.

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