NHS Providers responds to Lib Dem figures on hospital bed decline

31 August 2023

Responding to figures published by the Liberal Democrats showing two-thirds of NHS hospital trusts have seen a decline in the number of beds per person since 2015, Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"Relentlessly high demand is putting a massive strain on the entire health service.

"Boosting physical capacity, including with more beds in hospitals, could go a long way to ensure the NHS better meets the needs of its patients.

"However, this is not enough by itself. We also need more community and mental health beds, as well as virtual ones that form part of the growing 'hospital at home' model.

"Trusts are working very hard to expand capacity but face persistent challenges including severe workforce shortages and under-investment in buildings and equipment.

"National funding and support are critical to address these issues effectively."