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Hundreds of hospital beds blocked at likes of Peterborough City Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn



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Hundreds of bed blocking patients are piling pressure on our area’s hospitals.

Numbers we obtained highlight the problems currently facing services - with significant percentages of beds being taken up by occupants with nowhere else to go.

Phil Walmsley, chief operating officer for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Peterborough City Hospital - said hospital and social care pressure has been ‘exacerbated by the pandemic.’

Hundreds of beds are blocked at hospitals in our area
Hundreds of beds are blocked at hospitals in our area

He said: “Our hospitals cover a wide patch of the region and there is a nuance to the exact number as some are waiting on family arrangements to be sorted out. On average, in total for all our hospital sites, there are between 140-150 medically fit patients awaiting discharge at any one time.”

Denise Smith, chief operating officer at the QEH in King’s Lynn, said: “We work closely with our health and social care partners across the health and care system to ensure safe discharges for our patients who are ready to leave hospital.

“Consistent with our neighbouring acute hospitals in Norfolk and Waveney, we continue to experience a high demand for urgent and emergency care, and it is therefore vital that we focus on patient flow and discharge our patients when it is clinically safe to do so.

Peterborough City Hospital is amongst the facilities experiencing problems
Peterborough City Hospital is amongst the facilities experiencing problems

“We currently have over 100 patients who no longer need acute hospital care and whose care needs can be met at home or in the community. We continue to work closely with partners across community and social care to arrange timely discharge for these patients.”

The QEH has just over 500 beds, meaning around a fifth of them are currently blocked.

District councillor Glynis Scalese, who works with the Health Scrunity Committee for Lincolnshire, says she witnessed bed blocking while working shifts at the Johnson Community Hospital.

She said: “There is nowhere for them to go. It’s a struggle, and I don’t blame the hospitals or anything like that.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is experiencing bed blocking issues
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is experiencing bed blocking issues

“It’s just the climate of things at the moment. We’re blaming everything on Covid and we shouldn’t, but we’ve gone backwards for nearly three years.”

The ULH NHS Trust, in charge of Boston Pilgrim Hospital, did not provide us with bed blocking numbers.



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