I can’t access this story and get instead:

I suppose it is an improvement on what you often get from Helen McArdle but it leaves me with only the headline and the miserable photograph of the Health Secretary to work on. Luckily, we need no more to know where it’s going. NHS Scotland has insufficient beds for the forthcoming epidemic and the Health Secretary is responsible. I don’t suppose they’ve mentioned this from September 2019:

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.

Click to access WA20190902.pdf

Or this from deep inside a Herald article only 3 days ago:

NHS Scotland already doubling intensive care to meet Coronavirus peak demand

Part of the work we’re undertaking is in terms of looking at bed capacity across the whole estate and doubling our intensive care beds, and ensuring we have the right trained staff and the right equipment in order to be able to do that. We will continue to look at what more can we do to maximise our capacity to respond to this. At the same time, we’re taking the action to flatten that peak so that we give ourselves the best possible chance to do so.


That’s just the beds. See this: