1. ITV Report

The daily struggle to find beds for patients in the NHS

  • Video report by ITV News national editor Allegra Stratton

One major problem staff working in the NHS have to deal with day to day, is findings enough beds for patients.

At the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where ITV News will be filming over the next six months, beds manager Lorraine has the vital role of finding the empty beds when needed, and helping to move people out when they're ready, to free up more.

She constantly circles the wards, doing the sometimes impossible task of juggling the needs of current patients and those who are incoming.

Many staff in the hospital find themselves under pressure to free up bed space, but the numbers often don't add up.

Beds manager Lorraine (right) is on a constant hunt for spare beds Credit: ITV News

One of those, is senior nurse Eleanor Thomas, who works with elderly patients. She is even sometimes asked to move patients who are in palliative care.

Asked what they do if they have no free beds and are asked to move a patient on she says:"We're not going to chuck someone else in there unless they're safe to go home, because if you do, they're just going to come back anyway."

Credit: ITV News

And even if patients are ready to leave, they sometimes haven't had appropriate care organised for them by the council for once they are home.

Roy, a patient who staff would be happy to send home if he had a care package ready for him, said it is frustrating not being able to get out of hospital.

"I don't think they want to get rid of me," he said.