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Major incident declared in Gloucestershire hospitals

A major incident was declared in Gloucestershire yesterday owing to a lack of hospital beds.

51 patients needed beds at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.

The shortage was revealed today during a crisis meeting between health care providers across Gloucestershire. They met to discuss claims over “bed-blocking” patients who prevent others from being admitted.

A combination of factors have been blamed for “bed-blocking”, including administration changes to social services, a lack of suitable home-care packages and issues with transferring patients to community hospitals.

Cheltenham's Accident and Emergency department to be downgraded

Cheltenham's Accident and Emergency department is to be downgraded. From August, anyone critically ill or in an ambulance will have to travel to Gloucester between the hours of 8pm and 8am. The hospital will continue to deal with "walk in" patients.

The matter was brought up in the House of Commons by the town's local MP, Martin Horwood. He says the public's views haven't been considered.

Watch Tamsin Eames' report.

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