Sunday 16 June 2024
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120 Nottingham hospital beds ringfenced for planned operations ahead of winter

Around 120 hospital beds in Nottingham are being given a new ‘protected’ status to make sure planned operations can go ahead despite mounting winter pressures.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is ensuring a number of beds at City Hospital are only used for planned surgery so the Queen’s Medical Centre can focus on emergency care.

There are around 1,600 beds across both sites and Ropewalk House.

Operations in the winter months are more prone to cancellations to make way for emergency care.

Duane Mclean, Acting Chief Operating Officer for the trust said the protected bed spaces would make a “big difference”.

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He said the idea is to reduce the small number of patients who have been waiting more than 18 months for planned surgery like hip and knee replacements and cancer surgery.

The beds will be ‘protected’ until next spring.

The idea has been trialled in other areas across the country but has never been done in Nottingham before.

Mr Mclean said: “Last year we had an unpredictable winter which saw the number of beds we had dedicated to planned care reduced to very low levels.

“One of the key elements of our winter plan this year is protecting some of our planned care bed base.

“Those are for patients who have been waiting for hip replacements, knee replacements and some cancer operations.

“Historically we have seen some of our planned care has been reduced to create bed capacity to support emergency patients.

“Given the size of backlogs across the NHS, we felt it important this year to maintain that planned care capacity to people can get timely surgery.

“A focus for us is on clinically urgent surgeries such as cancer as well as our patients who have been waiting more than 18 months for surgery.

“We have been working hard over the past year to get those numbers down.

“We look forward to making sure none of our patients are waiting more than 18 months by the end of the year.”

The trust has also launched a ‘Same Day Emergency Care’ (SDEC) facility at QMC to reduce crowding in A&E.

It aims to see patients who have chest pain or respiratory conditions and see them and treat them within the day.

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