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‘Mothballed beds’ must be brought back into service to boost elective activity says NHSE

NHS England has warned trusts that it is “essential” that elective procedures go ahead over winter, despite acknowledging hospital occupancy is running at an “all time high”.

New winter planning guidance from NHS England, published today, says electives should go ahead “unless there are clear patient safety reasons for postponing activity,” and trusts considering cancelling significant levels of elective activity should escalate to their regional directors to mobilise mutual aid where possible.

NHSE has said bed occupancy “continues to be at all-time highs” and encouraged systems to “take all opportunities” to maximise physical and virtual bed capacity, including the use of “previously mothballed beds”.

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Source: HSJ, 18 October 2022


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