More from #RichardArmitage on NHS issues.

Frankly incredible that a major hospital, public or otherwise, would have only 4 ICU beds, even in non-crisis times. ( Which we all know are not just beds, but the accompanying and vital high tech monitoring equipment attached to each bed and increased staff ratio assigned to ICU units.)

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16 thoughts on “More from #RichardArmitage on NHS issues.

  1. I guess I have to believe it, but it seems like bad planning for a major hospital. I would think that NHS has guidelines for how many special beds, units, etc. should be provided based on overall number of beds. I’m not faulting the hospital itself, since I have no idea what discretion they have to allocate resources. Did they used to have more ICU beds, but had to cut them? But, as I said, even without the winter crisis, and under normal times, 4 ICU beds seems unreasonable.

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    • I replied under your comment. Yes, fund cuts. And it depends on the ward. If you need a cardiological ward ICU (for example), it doesn’t help there are 10 free ones in another ward :\ Leicester General Hospital has only 430 beds.

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  2. To explain myself: in some EU countries, politicians – all colours, all ideologies – feasted on NHS and are now trying to push us into a private healthcare system. They have been cutting (and putting in their pockets) funds for decades, and the result is lack of beds, especially for most specialized wards. Cuts in staff, cuts in funds, absurd shifts, closure of smaller hospitals. We already are forced to have tests outside NHS because of waiting time.
    In Italy at least, you don’t want a major surgery done in a private structure. They just lack the skills and are not equipped to do that.
    And to be crystal clear: the money is not there because they took and used and continue to use it for their own purposes instead of caring about the people. We are about to vote in 2 months and I don’t know who the heck vote.
    Do you want an example? Rome Municipality spent 40k euros for transportation of a horrible Christmas Tree that didn’t make it to Christmas day. Oh, but the tree was a gift!

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  3. All the information about hospital capacity etc. is public. If you are interested, you can check here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/critical-care-bed-capacity-and-urgent-operations-cancelled-2017-18-data/ It mentions individual facilities as well as the total number of beds. In November 2017, a total of 200 urgent operations were cancelled, according to the document. And we all think we are living in the first world… well, only for some…

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    • Of course, you’re writing to a person from a country that as NO NHS. tried to make heads and tails from the data for November 2017. They are using the term Critical care beds, and in some cases one institution has over 100 – so I don’t think Critical Care is the same as ICU. I wonder if there is a category above “urgent.” I read somewhere that “urgent” meant cancer or some condition that is likely to deteriorate if not treated. That’s a broad spectrum.

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      • Critical care unit and intensive care unit are 2 different things. Intensive care is usually required as post op. Critical care is for emergency and increased monitoring, usually as transfers from A&E. The problem is that smaller hospitals outside big cities have suffered more under the cuts as they were smaller to begin with Also depending on speciality beds are more of a problem than others eg take cardio or cancer. As micra mentioned beds are not transferable It’s a horrible consequence of neglect of regions outside big cities which have more clout to fight for money But London isn’t spared either. In my poorer borough we’ve had to fight twice in 2 years to keep our local hospital open and it’s an ongoing issue.

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      • According to the NHS, critical care and intensive care are synonyms https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/intensive-care/ The number of such ICU beds varies from hospital to hospital and is probably based on a “per head of population” basis. I saw a statistic from 2010 that compared ICU availability across Europe – with an average of 11.5 in Europe, but ranging from 29.4 in Germany (hooray) and 4.2 in Portugal (really bad). Not sure what the per 100.000 rate is in UK…

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        • See my additional comment While they both mean close monitoring in the London ones it’s broken down by specialities or areas, though this may not be the case in smaller units. What i meant was that there may be more than 4 in even that hospital just not in the specific unit

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  4. What many of you have commented is correct. Depending on the type of illness, the beds vary – the general, overall term is ‘specialist bed’, I believe. My father was in an intensive care unit 7 yrs ago, because he had had a rupture of an an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The surgical procedure was acute and successful, and he was hospitalized for 3 weeks in an ICU. The bed was rather unusual – very wide, long and could move in all sorts of directions with a ‘hole’ in the middle of the mattress for tubes.
    This seems like a planned surgery, so they would know what type of bed Mrs Armitage would require for post-op treatment and care. A unit may only have a certain number of types of beds at their disposal. I – along with many others – hope she will be alright.

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