New bed rental service looks to reduce pressure on the NHS and decrease patient vulnerability
A new bed rental service has been launched by Medstrom Healthcare, which addresses the issue of dangerously high bed occupancy levels in hospitals across the UK.
At the beginning of the year, the British Medical Association (BMA) published a report titled ‘NHS Pressures – Winter 2018/19 A Hidden Crisis’, which provided information on bed occupancy levels across NHS England. Whilst bed occupancy levels in winter 2018/19 were down slightly compared to the previous winter, the BMA confirmed that they still remained at “unsafe levels”.
NHS Improvement has stated that bed occupancy levels which are above 92 percent will result in emergency care standards deteriorating.
According to figures from NHS England, in winter 2018/19, the bed occupancy rate across NHS England fell over the festive period before rising to 95 percent by 7th January 2019 and staying above 93 percent for the entire month.
Furthermore, excluding 21st to 29th December, bed occupancy did not drop below 92 percent during winter 2018/19. Bed occupancy remained at 94 percent in the first few days of March, before NHS England stopped publishing winter situational reports. At that time, 3,428 ‘escalation beds’ remained open, which represented 3.5 percent of total bed stock.
The BMA has warned that pressures relating to high bed occupancy levels are no longer just a winter issue. The Kings Fund’s quarterly monitoring report, published in July 2019, revealed that bed occupancy is now the top concern for Trust finance leads.
At a time when NHS capital funding is under extreme pressure and patient vulnerability is increasing, this places extra pressure on bed availability.
In response to the current hospital bed ‘crisis’, Medstrom Healthcare has launched an innovative, cost-effective and responsive bed rental service. It has been designed to address both the financial challenges and high bed occupancy issues which are being faced by the NHS now and throughout the coming months.
Medstrom has invested in a large fleet of hospital beds and offers free, next-day delivery seven days a week, including delivery of each bed to the ward and full user training by highly trained technicians. This means that if a hospital identifies an urgent need for escalation beds at 5pm on a Friday afternoon, Medstrom will deliver on Saturday.
The service is available to hospitals in mainland England, Wales and most parts of Scotland. Delivery to other areas of UK may take a day longer, says Medstrom.
In addition to standard hospital beds, Medstrom is also offering its specialist ultra-low bed as part of the rental fleet.
In light of the UK’s ageing population and an increasing need to prevent falls, Medstrom’s ultra-low beds provide a safe environment, encouraging independent and safe mobilisation without the risk of falls.
Additionally, the ultra-low beds come with a choice of split side rails or folding side rails, enabling clinicians to select the most appropriate option for their clinical environment and patient type.
Medstrom Healthcare is the only independent provider of bed management services to the NHS. With 18 contracts across 65 hospital sites, it is the second largest provider of bed management services to the NHS, managing around 20 percent of the acute bed and mattress fleet.