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Monday, May 05, 2008

The lives of critically ill hospital patients are being put at risk because of a desperate shortage of intensive care beds, new statistics show.

5,000 patients a year affected by shortage of intensive care beds

Extracts from the Telegraph:

"Previously unpublished figures from three intensive care networks in England and Wales suggest that as many as 5,000 patients a year are put in an ambulance and sent elsewhere because there are no beds in their local hospital."

"Figures obtained from three intensive care networks show that, on any one day, more than 20 critically ill patients are being sent on risky road journeys because of a lack
of beds.

In the East Midlands alone around 200 patients a year are moved to other hospitals.

There have been several high-profile deaths in the past year. They include Angela Borzoni, a 69-year-old Londoner who died from a cardiac arrest in March 2007 after being taken from the Whittington Hospital in north London to Bedford Hospital, 50 miles away, following an operation to remove her spleen.

The Government says it has invested money to boost intensive care bed provision, but consultants say the amount put in is simply not enough to keep up with demand."