Nursing leaders have called for a halt to the loss of hospital beds after a study revealed that patients were being left on trolleys for hours on end and treated in corridors. It comes as the Royal College of Nursing conference in Harrogate starts.
In some cases, patients were on hospital trolleys for more than 24 hours, while others were moved regularly for non-clinical reasons so targets could be met, the UK-wide research showed.
More than a fifth of nurses said patients were receiving care in corridors or other unsuitable areas every day. The situation was even worse in emergency departments. The RCN said that in the last decade in England the average daily availability of general and acute hospital beds fell by 22%, with trusts often cutting back for financial reasons.