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REVEALED: Nearly every bed was full at Shropshire's hospitals last month

By Lisa O'Brien | Health | Published:

Bed occupancy rates at Shropshire's hospitals soared above recommended safe levels last month, NHS figures show.

New statistics show that Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (Sath) exceeded its target for safe levels of bed occupancy in 26 out of 28 days in December.

Levels reached an average of 90.7 per cent, exceeding the recommended 85 per cent to maintain patient safety standards.

On December 9, the county's hospitals were close to capacity as the bed occupancy rate reached 95.4 per cent.

It sat at around 80 per cent for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Dr Laura Davies, who is a doctor at Sath and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham, says staff are under pressure in all departments and the Government needs to take action.

She said: "My colleagues at Sath are under so much pressure in all departments and are working incredibly hard despite the difficulties, but their dedication is being undermined by failing Conservative policies at every level, from public health to social care to acute hospitals.

“The people of Shrewsbury and Telford deserve so much better than this.

“The Tories have no plan to tackle the financial crisis facing our hospitals – and it’s the same picture right across the country with waiting lists getting longer and life-changing treatments being rationed.

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"People are suffering and the government doesn’t seem to care."

Across England, NHS New Year performance statistics showed that hospitals remain dangerously overcrowded.

Responding to the latest data, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “In the coming days ministers must outline a credible plan to both restore standards of patient care where constitutional targets are met, while recruiting and training the staff our NHS now desperately and so obviously needs.”

Nigel Lee, chief operating officer at Sath, said: “Bed occupancy tends to be high during winter. At Sath we have seen an increase of around 10 per cent in urgent and emergency demand.

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“Sath is one of the top performers in England for longer lengths of stay. We are working closely with commissioners, community teams and local authorities to improve the bed occupancy situation.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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