Cole-Hamilton: Number of NHS Beds must meet demand

I've called on the Scottish Government to ensure there are enough NHS beds to meet demand after new statistics showed the number available has continued to fall.

Figures published today by ISD Scotland, covering the quarter ending December 2016, showed the number of available staffed NHS beds across all specialities now stands at 21,781 - 2,000 fewer than five years ago.

People will be worried by the fact that 2,183 beds have been lost over the past five years.

There have long been complaints from health campaigners and professionals about a lack of capacity and staffing in our NHS.

We recently revealed that patients are still stuck in hospital beds for hundreds of days because their discharge has been delayed by a lack of community care. Target after target has been missed.

While models of care are changing, Scottish Government ministers must ensure that staff are properly equipped to meet demand.

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