Medical Practice

A More Efficient Use of Hospital Beds?

Br Med J 1974; 3 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5922.27 (Published 06 July 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;3:27
  1. R. D. Marshall,
  2. R. I. Spencer

    Abstract

    Faced with a shortage of trained nursing staff and a high wastage rate among learners the management of a district general hospital decided to close some of its acute beds. A beds committee attempted to minimize the effects of these closures by introducing a bed bureau, “pooling,” and a simple system for forecasting waiting list admissions.

    The figures for recruitment and wastage of nurses improved, and a very high turnover per available bed was achieved. This increased efficiency in numerical terms was not mirrored by an improvement in the morale of the doctors and nurses working on the wards, who were subjected to new pressures and considered that at times the standard of patient care deteriorated.