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Pressure on hospitals 'at a really dangerous point'


Nearly 90% of hospital beds in England are full as hospitals try to cope with the demands of Covid in addition to normal winter pressures.

Ambulances queuing to offload patients, staff sickness and a lack of beds mean hospitals are "at a really dangerous point", say emergency doctors. This could result in some trusts facing the decision to stop non-Covid work.

Rises in hospital admissions are particularly affecting areas in the south.

The percentage of NHS hospital beds which are occupied is increasing and has reached almost 89% in England for the week ending December 13.

This is the highest occupancy rate so far this year - it's still lower than the same time last year, although the extra burden of Covid is likely to make hospitals feel they are much busier.

A safe level for bed occupancy is below 90% but nearly half of NHS trusts report a figure currently higher than this - the largest proportion this season.

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Source: BBC News, 19 December 2020

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