634 Hospital Beds Axed over the last 10 Years in NHS Lothian

Hospital beds in NHS Lothian have steadily declined over the last 10 years under Scottish National Party Government, despite Lothian having the highest population growth in Scotland. The number of beds has fallen by 634 beds, from 3941 in 2007/8 to 3307 as of June this year, a decline of 16%.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“There is a general shift towards community care, which will explain some of the reductions we’ve seen over the past years.

“But at the same time, we have an expanding and an ageing population, and we’re going to need hospital beds to support and care for more patients who have increasingly complex needs.

“The NHS is under severe financial pressure, but having access to a hospital bed must remain one of its fundamental principles.

“We’ve all heard the horror stories about people being kept waiting on trolleys in accident and emergency, and massive delays for various types of care.

“When these things happen against a backdrop of dwindling bed numbers, it’s easy to see where at least some of that problem lies.

“The Scottish Government must get on top of this situation and make sure, when beds are taken out of action, it is for the right reason, and no patient will suffer as a consequence.

“Increasingly it seems that SNP ministers’ planning around hospital bed numbers has limited flexibility and that their usage modelling is not matching what is required in reality.”


Miles Briggs