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NHS hospitals in England recently received a major boost about new hospital bed funding, with the government announcing £250m to provide an extra 5,000 NHS hospital beds this winter.
This is a welcome development for many NHS hospitals, who require increases in bed provision to boost capacity and reduce patient waiting lists. However, despite the new funding, a major challenge for the NHS is how to get the most out of the available funding, enabling trusts to have beds that cater for varying care needs.
Whenever an NHS hospital looks to procure hospital equipment, they need to ensure they get value for money. Often a timely and complex process, hospitals need equipment that is durable, cost-effective and functional.
Those needs become tricky to comply with when you start considering complex care needs, such as plus-sized patients. To look at how hospitals navigate this problem, we’ll be taking a look at how new innovations are helping to make hospital beds more flexible, enabling the NHS to make their funding go further without compromising on quality of care.
In preparation for increased patient demand this winter, the government announced £250m of additional funding, helping to deliver an extra 5,000 NHS hospital beds in England.
The increase will see nearly 100,000 permanent beds on wards and in A&E, a rise of 5% on current levels. Around 900 new beds are planned to be ready by January 2024, helping hospitals during their busiest time for urgent and emergency care.
Alongside this new funding, the government have also promised to have at least 10,000 ‘virtual’ hospital beds open by autumn. Under this process, doctors will provide remote monitoring of patients in their home, who would otherwise have to be admitted to hospital.
With new funding available to NHS trusts to increase their care bed provision, one type of bed that is often overlooked during the procurement process is bariatric or plus-sized care beds. Designed to support heavier individuals, these care beds feature increased weight capacities, sturdier duty supports and wider widths to meet specific bariatric care needs.
Due to usage and demand, ward beds will take priority with the new funding. However, a standard hospital bed isn’t suitable to maintain the safety or comfort of a plus-sized individual.
Bariatric patients have complex and specific care needs, often requiring a low profiling bed so their legs can be moved and lifted more easily onto or out of the bed, helping improve independence and supporting rehabilitation.
There is no doubt that the new hospital bed funding will make a big difference. However, it will only make a difference if the beds can cater for a wide range of care needs. To enable the NHS to make the most of additional funding, there are a number of new care bed innovations that provide greater flexibility and efficiency.
As the only bariatric bed on the market that can drop to 21cm off the ground, the VersaTech 1100 ULB is already enhancing the quality of care of plus-sized patients across the UK. However, it is another feature of the bed that could be of huge benefit to how NHS trusts utilise hospital bed funding.
Usually when NHS trusts purchase care beds, they will buy bulk orders for standard ward beds, falls risk beds and bariatric. Not only is this expensive, it also sees beds for plus-sized patients not in use when there isn’t a need for them.
So how can hospitals strike the right balance between having beds to meet different needs, but also ensure they are being used all the time? The answer is to choose beds which give you more flexibility.
Fully-width adjustable to accommodate different mattress sizes, the VersaTech 1100 ULB delivers the flexibility that hospitals need, without compromising on quality of care. Built with convenience and ease of operation in mind, it has a lightweight head and footboard which can easily be removed, making it easy for patient-centered care.
By simply adjusting the side panels, this bariatric bed can easily be adapted to be used as a standard wards bed or falls risk bed, ensuring staff and patients get better value for money and more usage.
Watch the video below of how the VersaTech 1100 ULB can support your care environment.
Any new hospital bed funding for the NHS should be welcomed. However, to ensure that funding is used effectively, careful consideration is required when choosing a hospital bed. With the VersaTech 1100 ULB, its versatility offers hospitals a comprehensive solution.
By addressing the unique needs of bariatric patients through innovative features and adaptable design, the bed optimises patient care, resource allocation, and operational efficiency. This approach ensures that hospitals can effectively utilise their funding. By selecting a bed that has multiple purposes, they can make significant improvements to patient outcomes and streamline healthcare delivery.