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Patients being 'treated in corridors'

14th May 2012

The Royal College of Nursing has said a feedback request carried out by 1,246 nurses and healthcare workers has revealed many patients are being left "for hours" on trollies in hospital corridors.

Corridor

The RCN said the information from staff painted a "worrying picture" of patients being treated in corridors because of a lack of beds.

A fifth of nurses and healthcare assistants said they treated patients in hospital corridors every day.

Some staff said they knew of patients being left for a day and night without access to a bed, while 50% said patients had to wait for hours before being given a bed.

The union warned that leaving patients on trollies could be putting their lives in danger as well as failing to give them privacy.

The RCN said the government needed to address the problem by immediately stopping the reduction of beds in hospitals.

Over the last decade acute and general bed availability has decreased by 20% to 100,000.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said healthcare staff were being put under "huge stress" and added: "treating patients on corridors and areas not designed for care is a high-risk strategy, which can have a serious impact on patient care".

Health minister Simon Burns said: "There is no excuse for patients to be left waiting on trolleys."

"The NHS has beds free and available, and hospitals should be supporting their nurses to ensure that patients are admitted to them quickly."

 

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