Lister Hospital at breaking point as 99% of beds full, latest figures reveal

PUBLISHED: 15:34 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 05 January 2018

Stevenage's Lister Hospital had a

Stevenage's Lister Hospital had a

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Lister Hospital had 98.9 per cent of its total beds occupied during the New Year period – nearly 14 per cent above the national target, latest figures have revealed.

Out of 562 General and Acute (G&A) beds that were ‘open’ on December 31, 555 were taken, while 19 of the 20 beds allocated for critical adult care were also full.

NHS England’s figures come after the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust yesterday asked residents to avoid Lister’s A&E department, citing “extreme pressure” from the amount of very sick patients.

Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, bed occupancy peaked on December 28 – but consistently remained above 97 per cent for the last five days.

A trust spokesman said: “The trust’s staff have been doing a great job to date coping with the surge of attendances and admissions that happened after the Christmas break.

“Working with colleagues across community and social care, every effort was made to reduce bed occupancy rates at the Lister in the run-up to Christmas, getting them to as close as possible to NHS England’s target of 85 per cent.

“Levels of admissions after Christmas, however, have seen bed occupancy rates rise – which is a sign of the significant winter pressures that we, like the whole of the NHS, are facing right now.

“That is why the trust’s emergency department doctors are asking people not to go to A&E unless it’s a life or limb-threatening emergency.”

An NHS England spokesman said the 85 per cent aim is set to ensure hospitals are prepared to absorb the additional pressures associated with the festive period.

•Lister Hospital forced to redeploy non-clinical staff to help wards cope

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