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Hospital beds down again despite rise in admissions

The number of NHS beds across Scotland has fallen again, despite more people being admitted to hospital.

Figures released today show a two per cent drop in available beds in 2018/19, from 13,429 the previous year to 13,105.

Over the same period, admissions rose by more than 6000 to 1,203,810.

It follows a trend in recent years of reducing bed numbers, at a time when Scotland’s population isn’t just expanding, but also getting older.

Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the fall was more evidence of SNP negligence when it comes to running the NHS.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“Only the SNP could think it acceptable to cut bed numbers at a time when hospital admissions are increasing.

“The nationalists have been warned for years about Scotland’s expanding and ageing population, and the impact that would have on our NHS.

“Yet they’ve not properly addressed staffing levels, nursing and consultancy vacancies are at a record level, and now we learn bed numbers are dropping too.

“It’s no wonder people are getting increasingly fed up with the level of care they are receiving under this SNP government.

“This negligence not only impacts the health of patients, but it places an intolerable strain on staff who are already going beyond the call of duty to keep the health service going.

“SNP ministers need to provide the evidence and future planning for beds, especially at a time when we are seeing increasing demand for dementia beds at the same time as these are being cut.”



Notes to editors:


To see the full report, visit:

It shows the following number of available beds in recent years:

2018/19 – 13,105

2017/18 – 13,429

2016/17 – 13,644

2015/16 – 13,823

2014/15 – 14,039

2013/14 – 13,966

2012/13 – 14,020

2011/12 – 14,227

2010/11 – 14,351

2009/10 – 14,614

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