The number of beds has been decreasing over the years and the think tank believes this should be done quickly as the article appears.  As you can see by reading through here there are objections on whether or not this is being done strictly for financial reasons and if it would impact the care received.

Just what is the number needed for care it appears is the big question here as you can’t get rid of all of beds?  BD 

Reform says the NHS's focus should move away from hospital treatment as more people suffer from conditions, such as diabetes, which can be treated at imagehome.

The think tank suggested that more than 30,000 beds could close in the coming years if all areas matched the bed to population ratio achieved in the south central region.

The government said local health chiefs could decide, while the British Medical Association said cuts made for purely financial reasons would be "immoral"  There were just under 300,000 beds in 1987, but by last year that had fallen to 160,000 as advances in treatment have meant patients do not need to spend as long in hospital.

But Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA's consultants committee, was skeptical about the suggestions.

He said that, while cutting bed numbers was perhaps necessary, carrying out such a program so quickly was "nonsense".

And he added: "Cutting beds for purely financial reasons would be immoral and catastrophic for patient care."

BBC News - Hospitals 'should axe thousands more beds'


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