Winter bed crises are a common feature in NHS hospitals, and have given rise to great concern.
We set out to determine the relative contribution of seasonal effects and other factors to bed occupancy in a large teaching hospital over one year.
There were 190 804 occupied bed-days, which we analysed by specialty groupings.
There was considerable variability in bed occupancy in each specialty.
A significant winter peak occurred for general medicine and orthopaedics together with a significant increase on'take-in'days.
Virtually all specialties showed a significant variation in occupancy between weekdays.
Geriatric Medicine had a high and fairly constant occupancy, with some seasonal effect.
We conclude that seasonal trends in bed occupancy occur in'front door'specialties and are predictable.
In these specialties, admission policies also make a contribution to bed usage and are amenable to modification.
There is no surge in occupancy in the immediate post-Christmas period, except that attributable to the seasonal trend.
In the'elective'specialties, bed occupancy fluctuates widely, with reduced occupancy at weekends and at Christmas.
These differences are entirely amenable to modification.
More effective bed management would make a very significant contribution to avoiding winter bed crises.
Mots-clés Pascal : Hospitalisation, Analyse quantitative, Demande saisonnière, Hiver, Facteur prédictif, Etiologie, Lit, Utilisation, Evaluation, Homme, Royaume Uni, Europe, Organisation santé
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Hospitalization, Quantitative analysis, Seasonal demand, Winter, Predictive factor, Etiology, Bed, Use, Evaluation, Human, United Kingdom, Europe, Public health organization
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0234825
Code Inist : 002B30A04D. Création : 16/11/1999.