Revealed: is Luton and Dunstable University Hospital coping with winter pressures?

How well is your hospital coping with winter pressures?

NHS England publishes weekly reports which reveal whether hospital trusts are struggling to manage during the colder months, based on key indicators.

Is Luton and Dunstable University Hospital coping with winter pressures?

Is Luton and Dunstable University Hospital coping with winter pressures?

This is how Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust coped from January 7 to 13.

Bed Occupancy:

General and acute wards at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital were 94% full on average, well above the safe limit of 85% recommended by health experts.

The occupancy rate has fallen slightly since the previous week, when the trust was 95.8% full.

British Medical Association guidelines state "to ensure safe patient care, occupancy should ideally not exceed 85%". According to NHS Improvement, occupancy rates of 92% and above lead to significantly worse A&E performance.

The BMA also raised concerns about the number of available beds needed to cope with winter demands.

On average, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital had 653 available beds each day, of which 614 were in use.

Of those, 16 were escalation beds - temporary beds set up in periods of intense pressure, often in corridors or day care centres.

According to NHS Improvement, a higher proportion of long-stay patients can impact the ability of hospitals to accommodate urgent admissions and manage bed capacity.

At Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, 295 patients had been in hospital for a week or more , taking up nearly half of the occupied beds.

Of these, 86 patients had been in hospital for at least three weeks, making up 14% of all occupied beds.

Ambulances:

A total of 664 patients were taken by ambulance to A&E during the week . That's a drop in emergency arrivals compared to the previous week, when 700 patients were brought by ambulance.

Delays left 64 patients waiting 30 minutes or more before they could be transferred - 10% of all ambulance arrivals.

Of those, 12 unlucky individuals waited longer than an hour.

NHS Improvement guidance states that ambulance crews should hand patients over to A&E staff within 15 minutes of arrival.

Any delay in transferring patients leaves ambulances unable to respond to other emergencies, as well as risking their patients' safety.

Delays affected fewer patients than the previous week, when 92 patients waited more than 30 minutes to be transferred.

Norovirus:

Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, is highly contagious. Outbreaks spread rapidly through hospitals, causing staff to close beds to prevent infection spreading.

But at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, no beds were closed due to norovirus outbreaks - both during the most recent week and over the previous one.