Research Article

Demand for patient care.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 24 September 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:799
  1. S N Donaldson,
  2. M R Wheeler,
  3. A Barr


    A study was performed to determine the extent to which patients of all types were receiving inappropriate levels of care. The needs of patients in acute and supporting hospitals, people in residential homes, and patients cared for at home were assessed. A sixth of the hospital inpatients did not need hospital care, while 5% of those in residential homes and 5% of those at home did need hospital services. These findings indicate that a realistic provision of hospital beds would be 4 per 1000 population for all specialties except regional specialties, psychiatry, mental subnormality, obstetrics, and paediatrics. About a third of these beds need to be acute, while the rest may be in supporting or community hospitals. Thus the current provision of acute beds (2-0 to 2-5 per 1000 population) exceeds actual need.