Trust’s £500k plan to avoid winter beds crisis

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A hospital trust is bracing itself for the winter by putting extra beds in place to cope with rising demand.

NHS bosses have invested £500,000 in measures to ease the pressure on Pontefract Hospital as cold weather leads to more attendaces at accident and emergency.

Bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said 39 extra beds would be in place along with extra suport from GPs, therapists and social services to ease demand on its hospitals.

Health bosses said they were treating around 650 people a day at A&E units in Pontefract, Wakefield and Dewsbury, with around 140 needing admission to hospital.

Cold weather was expected to lead to more cases of flu and other winter-related illnesses and broken bones caused by trips and falls in icy conditions.

The winter measures have been put in place by Trust bosses and NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which controls the district’s health service budget.

Tim Birch, Mid Yorkshire’s associate director of emergency planning, said: “Every winter the NHS sees extra demand placed on its services.

“This year we’ve worked with the CCG on a plan to help ease that additional pressure by putting extra services in place for patients so they are not adversely affected by the seasonal demands.”

The extra beds include including 12 “surge beds” which can be made available at short notice at Pinderfields Hospital.

Pinderfields will also have another 12 weekend beds and 15 rehabilitation beds to help patients return home as soon as possible following hospital admission.

A further 15 beds will be in place at the West Ridings Residential and Nursing Home in Outwood, Wakefield, to help patients recover following hospital admission.