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Hospital beds axed in drive for savings

NEARLY 250 NHS beds are to be cut at three hospitals by Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT).

NEARLY 250 NHS beds are to be cut at three hospitals by Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT).

Up to 20 per cent of the 1,200 beds at Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals will be lost as health bosses strive to save cash.

All three are run by HEFT which has already cut 400 jobs to meet Government saving targets of £11 million this year.

Trust chief executive Dr Mark Newbold confirmed the organisation was “reshaping” services and said he thought bed numbers would fall by up to 20 per cent, which equates to 240 beds, over the next three years.

Trust bosses were understood to be concerned about falling £4 million short of the £11 million target.

Next year’s savings target is expected to be a similar figure.

Dr Newbold said the changes would not be made until after winter to allow staff to cope with the pressures of extra patients and flu outbreaks.

“We are re-shaping out services with a less bed model,” he said. “Much of the cash will come from reducing bed numbers.

“Early discharge will see more delivery of care in the home as we try and reduce reliance on beds.”

Hospital champion Councillor Jim Ryan (Cons, Bickenhill) said: “We should always be looking at how we can save resources and get value for money.

“But that in no way should hamper or interfere with the wellbeing of patients, so that people can access hospital and have a bed waiting for them.”

 

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