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  1. ITV Report

Hospital bed occupancy rates worryingly high across NHS

As winter sets in across Britain, hospitals are braced for a tough time.

While usually summertime would see a respite in admissions to hospitals, for the second year running, the respite never came.

Accident and emergency departments are hardest hit.

Waiting times are rising Credit: ITV News

A growing elderly population means that demand is now higher than ever, and the pressure on A&E departments means that routine procedures are being cancelled as there are not enough beds for patients.

Campaigning group 38 Degrees has found that 98% of healthcare areas have breached the safe bed occupancy levels.

98%
of healthcare areas have breached the safe bed occupancy levels.
Credit: ITV News

It is recommended that no more than 85% of beds are occupied at any one time in hospitals.

85%
is the recommended safe bed occupancy level.

This lack of beds is partly due to social care funding cuts which mean that people are staying in hospital longer than necessary, because home care packages are not in place.

While the crisis in social care is not new, it is now threatening to push the NHS to breaking point.