Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospitals are using “escalation” beds routinely, not just in winter, BMA finds

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 21 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4364
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Many NHS hospitals in England are routinely putting patients in beds that should be reserved for emergencies or busy periods, shows a new analysis by the BMA.1

Data obtained by the BMA from hospital trusts through freedom of information requests show that many are regularly using so-called “escalation beds” for routine care in a response to ever growing patient demand. Escalation beds are used in addition to permanent bed stock and are brought in by hospitals to provide capacity for limited periods in temporary or repurposed wards or as additions to existing wards. The vast majority …

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