Airedale Hospital ‘ran out’ of intensive care beds

Craven Herald: Stacey Hunter, director of operations at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Stacey Hunter, director of operations at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Airedale Hospital ran out of intensive care beds on more than 40 occasions this winter, figures reveal.

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust reported it had no spare beds for critically-ill patients on 45 separate days between November 4 last year and last Wednesday – the joint-sixth highest figure in England.

Labour, which uncovered the figures, accused the Government of overseeing a “growing crisis in emergency care”.

Andy Burnham, the party’s health spokesman, said: “This is a clear sign of a system in distress and a crisis in emergency care that is getting more serious by the day”.

Keighley’s Labour parliamentary candidate John Grogan said that the Airedale Trust had run out of spare critical care beds on all but five days since the beginning of 2014, and that on those five days it had been left with one spare bed.

He said: “I am horrified by these figures, which reveal an NHS so under pressure and under-resourced that there’s a real risk it won’t even be able to treat the most seriously-ill patients.

“I don’t wish to imagine what would happen if they had to deal with a major incident.”

Stacey Hunter, director of operations at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “Whilst our critical care beds are frequently busy during winter, we are managing this as part of our winter pressures and have not needed to transfer any critical care patients to other hospitals for their care.

“I would like to thank our staff for their hard work this winter, on behalf of our patients, and reassure our local community that should we have a major incident, we have plans in place to enable us to create additional critical care capacity,”

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