September 19, 2008

High Occupancy Rates ‘Putting Patients at Risk’ Claims MSP

HIGH rates of bed occupancy in the Lothians are risking the health of patients, an MSP has claimed.

New figures show that the occupancy rates at Edinburgh's two main hospitals are above the 85 per cent mark, which some experts cite as the "safe" level.

The Western General is at 91 per cent and the ERI at 87 per cent.

Edinburgh Central MSP Sarah Boyack said: "I am deeply concerned that the Scottish Government is failing to provide enough hospital beds. Occupancy rates of over 90 per cent in some of Edinburgh's hospitals put unacceptable pressure on nurses and other NHS staff."

But NHS Lothian medical director Dr Charles Swainson said: "Occupancy rates in Lothian hospitals are safe and appropriate."

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