In the Scottish Parliament this week, Miles Briggs (Lothian) (SCAUP) asked the Scottish Government what its response is to the estimate by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine that 200 more hospital beds are required in Scotland. (S5W-24570)
We note the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) have used a bed occupancy of 85% to estimate that NHS Scotland needs an additional 200 beds. For context, that is 1.5% of NHS Scotland’s acute bed base; RCEM also estimate that in England an additional 5,065 beds are needed – 5.0% of the general & acute bed base.
I understand that the 85% bed occupancy originates from research carried out around 20 years ago. There have been significant changes to the NHS and the way care is delivered since then, including the four-hour A&E standard, ambulatory care, and same day surgery. We recognise that bed occupancy should be monitored as part of hospital bed planning. The latest published statistics show acute specialty bed occupancy in Scotland was at 87.7%, 86.9%, 85.9% and 86.7% in the last four years.