SIX patients have spent 12 hours on hospital trolleys due to a lack of beds, an NHS chief has revealed.
Mark Powell, interim director of operations at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, admitted the ‘unacceptable breaches’ in a report to fellow directors.
He said: “All six have been investigated with the key root cause being insufficient bed capacity to meet the demand at that time.”
Mr Powell said December’s breaches were partly due to a level of emergency activity which was about 10 per cent higher than expected, with the acuteness of patients’ problems having increased.
This applied continued pressure to patient flow across the hospital which, in turn, affected performance across the trust as a whole, he said.
Accident and emergency and 18-week waiting time targets were below required standards as a result, Mr Powell explained.
Bed occupancy also remained above 93 per cent for the fourth consecutive month.
“The combination of all these factors resulted in the trust having to report six 12-hour trolley breaches in December,” he said.
“Twelve-hour trolley breaches are unacceptable and are local never events” – incidents which should not happen if available preventative measures are implemented.
Mr Powell said there were also two serious incidents of ‘retained cannulas’ in December, as well as 11 sleeping accommodation breaches.