The first quarter of the year saw Birmingham hospital beds at their busiest. Overnight bed occupancy peaked at a staggering 94.1% in Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals in between January and March, a huge increase from 87.4% from the same quarter in 2016.
It is also the Trust’s highest rate recorded since records began in 2010.
In the first quarter for 2017, England overnight occupancy peaked at 89%, the same percentage as back in 2016. There are currently 500 less available beds compared to last year, a fall from 131,561 to 131,060.
According to health experts, occupancy levels should ideally be lower than 85%. Anything higher means increased risks of bed shortages, bed crises and most worryingly, hospital acquired infections such as MRSA.
The Emergency Medicine Journal published a study which found that reducing bed occupancy to 90% or lower led to lower death rates and improved waiting times at A&E.