Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), May 7, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project


Byline: LIZ HULL

HUNDREDS of operations at Liverpool's specialist neurological hospital had to be cancelled last year because of bed blocking, it was revealed today.

Over the past 12 months 3% of the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery's 49,000-bed capacity was lost because of the delayed discharge of patients.

It means that hundreds of nonemergency patients had their surgery postponed - up to 20 operations were cancelled last month alone.

Bed blockers are patients, mostly elderly, who are forced to remain on hospital wards because there is nowhere else for them to go.

Today hospital chief executive Kate Abendstern admitted it was too many.

She blamed pressures on the NHS and other Liverpool hospitals for the problem.

She said: ``It is many more than we would like, but it is just an indication of the general pressures on the system.

``Because we are a specialist trust, quite a lot of patients are referred to us from other hospitals, so strictly speaking they should go back to those hospitals when they have been treated.

``We have been finding it increasingly difficult to get them back because of the pressure the hospitals are under.

``We do keep them longer, so a lot are fit to go home at discharge but if we can't find intermediate care for them or social services support they do block beds.

``Non-availability of beds on wards and in intensive care does impact on operations.''

Mrs Abendstern said the centre had put a bed utilisation project in place to try and halt bed blocking.

She said: ``Some of it is about managing the patient journey better and being more efficient.

``For example, when patients come in for tests or minor procedures, instead of having them sitting in a hospital bed we have started getting them in on an outpatient basis.

``We have introduced a discharge lounge because we found patients were taking up bed space waiting for an ambulance or prescription before going home.

``We have also freed up beds by allowing neurophysiology patients, who need their brain patterns monitored, to take the equipment home instead of staying in hospital.''

MORE than 11,400 patients blocked beds at Merseyside's four biggest hospital trusts last year, it was revealed today.

They clogged up valuable beds at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust, Wirral Hospitals NHS Trust and St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust.

It meant that thousands of people due to undergo non-emergency surgery had their operations cancelled or postponed.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?