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Health in Moray: Dr Gray's Hospital beds occupied beyond 100%

By Abbie Duncan

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Dr. Gray's Hospital has continued to grapple with overcapacity issues, as recent reports indicate that more than 100 per cent of the hospital's 210 staffed beds are 'regularly' occupied.

Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin. Picture: Beth Taylor
Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin. Picture: Beth Taylor

According to a staff bulletin from NHS Grampian, the hospital is continuing to experience an ongoing strain on resources, noting that the Elgin hospital has consistently been over capacity, even without any additional pressure from adverse weather conditions.

Alasdair Pattinson, General Manager at Dr Gray's Hospital, explained: "Dr Gray's, just like many hospitals across Scotland, is continuing to face sustained pressure. At times we are experiencing high numbers of attendances to our emergency department and alongside this the complexity of illness has risen significantly in recent years, along with our elderly population."

Mr Pattinson added that occupancy refers to the number of staffed inpatient beds, rather than total space available and that it is possible to add 'surge' beds during particularly busy times, and that often this is caused by more patients being admitted than can be discharged safely. The hospital is also having challenges with demand exceeding the capacity of the hospital.

He added: "As part of planning for increasing pressures during winter months, we review how beds are arranged at Dr Gray's and our 'surge' plan options. We have also created some new pathways for patient care to help with flow through the hospital and we are working together with the Scottish Ambulance Service on a joint improvement plan. Our work with colleagues across the wider local and regional health and care system is also ongoing to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place."

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