Winter Beds Pressures: Bed Occupancy Rates and Risk of Health Care Acquired Infections (BBC News / Nuffield Trust / Clinical Microbiology and Infection / King’s Fund)

Summary

A shortage of available hospital beds, and the resulting high bed occupancy rates, could be putting patients at increased risk of hospital acquired infections (HAIs).

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Reference

Hospital beds shortage in England ‘an infection risk’. London: BBC Health News, December 16th 2016.

This relates to:

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Reference

Appleby, J. (2016). Nuffield Winter Insight Briefing 1: Winter beds pressures. London: Nuffield Trust, December 2016.

“ …the record levels of delayed transfers of care are a strong indicator that the rising rates of bed occupancy the NHS is experiencing are a more ominous sign of an overloaded system”. (p.3).

Earlier research:

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Reference

Kaier, K. Mutters, NT. [and] Frank, U. (2012). Bed occupancy rates and hospital-acquired infections: should beds be kept empty? Clinical Microbiology and Infection: the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. October 2012;18(10):941-5.

Bed Occupancy Rates and Hospital Mortality Rates

“A decline in the number of hospital beds is putting the NHS in England under increasing pressure and has become an important contributory factor in the number of patient deaths”.

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Reference

Hosken, A. (2016). Fall in hospital beds contributing to patient deaths. London: The World Tonight BBC Radio 4 / BBC Health News, December 14th 2016.

SHMI Statistics

The latest publication of Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) data relates to hospital discharges between July 2015 to June 2016.

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Reference

Harrison, S. (2016). Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indicator (SHMI): Deaths associated with hospitalisation, England, July 2015 – June 2016. Summary. London: NHS Digital, December 15th 2016.

“The Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) is the ratio between the actual number of patients who die following hospitalisation at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of average England figures, given the characteristics of the patients treated there… It covers all deaths reported of patients who were admitted to non-specialist acute trusts in England and either die while in hospital or within 30 days of discharge”.

See also;

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Reference

Boden, DG. Agarwal, A. [and] Hussain, T. [et al] (2016). Lowering levels of bed occupancy is associated with decreased inhospital mortality and improved performance on the 4-hour target in a UK District General Hospital. Emergency Medicine Journal. February 2016; 33(2): 85-90.

Trends in Hospital Activity and Funding

There is a related King’s Fund’s briefing which examines how hospital activity rates and funding in England have changed over the past 13 years:

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Reference

Maguire, D. Dunn, P. [and] McKenna, H. (2016). How hospital activity and funding in England have changed over time. London: King’s Fund, December 20th 2016.