BEDS AT WORCESTERSHIRE’S community hospitals are in high demand, according to figures released by health chiefs.
Beds are almost completely occupied all of the time at all three of the community hospitals in Harriett Baldwin MP’s West Worcestershire constituency.
The MP wrote to Worcestershire Health and Care trust asking them to publish occupancy rates as part of a Freedom of Information request following the publication of the draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
The draft plan proposes a reduction of the community hospital beds in Worcestershire from 324 to 182 – a reduction of 44 per cent.
But the figures published by the Trust show that over the seven summer months between April and October beds were filled for an average of 90.9 per cent of the time in Tenbury, 95.1 per cent at Pershore and 93.4 per cent in Malvern.
Occupancy peaked at 97.7 per cent in Tenbury, 98.3 per cent in Pershore and 97.2 per cent in Malvern.
Harriett commented: “The figures speak for themselves and it is clear that there is strong demand for beds at our precious community hospitals.
“Community hospitals offer vital palliative care for patients as well as providing a bed closer to home for those who are recovering from a serious illness or injury.
“With the NHS Acute Trust under such serious pressure for beds at the moment, now cannot be the time to be talking about reducing the capacity at our community hospitals.
“We should be using community hospitals more, not less, and I hope that the people who are leading the STP draft plan will take a long look at these numbers and rethink their strategy. I will also be asking for more occupancy data.
“I will be making sure that I feed my views into the engagement process and I urge as many people as possible to make sure they share their views by