Numbers of hospital beds have halved over the past 30 years, from around 299,000 to 142,000 for general and acute, mental illness, learning disability, maternity and day-only beds.
This briefing aims to place the debate about hospital beds in a wider context by:
- presenting data on hospital beds for England over a 30-year period and, where possible, data on other categories of beds used in health care
- comparing the NHS’s bed supply with other EU-15 countries
- exploring the drivers underpinning changes observed in hospital bed numbers
- considering whether STPs’ proposed bed reductions are realistic.