Pressure on hospital beds in Scotland is affecting patient care, warns royal college

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 12 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4067
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Care of patients is being compromised at hospitals across Scotland because of pressure on specialist beds and medical staffing, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh warned on 12 June.

It is resulting in patients who need treatment on specialist wards being “boarded out” to other wards where less specialist care can be provided. This used to be a problem confined to the busier winter months but is now becoming the norm all year, said the college.

It conducted a survey among 1356 of its fellows in Scotland, mostly senior hospital consultants, to determine the extent of the problem. Of the 290 who replied (21%), just under three quarters (71%) said that …

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