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We've run out of beds, warn hospital bosses

We've run out of beds, warn hospital bosses
From BBC - January 10, 2018

Hospitals have run out of beds and can no longer cope, bosses are warning.

Reports have emerged since Christmas of patients being left for hours on trolleys in corridors and stuck in ambulances as A&E teams struggle.

Chris Hopson, of NHS Providers, said hospitals were now unsafe and over-crowded and the government should rethink its policies.

But ministers say plans are in place to help the health service cope, despite mounting evidence of growing pressures.

Last week the BBC reported that thousands of ambulances had been left stuck outside Accident and Emergency departments over the winter because there were no staff available to receive their patients.

Inside A&E patients have complained of being left in waiting rooms and corridors for hours as staff struggle to free up beds.

Latest figures show that hospitals in England are well above the 85% bed occupancy rate considered to be safe to ensure beds are ready when they are needed.

'There was no dignity - it was chaos'

Rosie Dawson, 37, is just one of the patients who has been caught up in the problems.

She was taken to Torbay General A&E on 3 January with a gynaecological problem which had left her with severe pain and bleeding.

She said it was chaos, with trolleys everywhere, staff running up and down corridors and queues of ambulances outside.

Staff could not find a private area for her to be assessed so she ended up being examined in front of other patients.

"There was no dignity. It was degrading," she said. "I could not fault the staff, there was nothing they could do. It was chaos."

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Mr Hopson said it was clear from the evidence that was emerging that the service was "over-stretched and staff run-ragged", with many places having no free beds at all.

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