Hospital Availability Changes Daily

There have been days where wards at Noble’s Hospital have had just one free bed each, but the situation changes everyday, the Health Minister has told Tynwald.

David Ashford was being quizzed on capacity at Noble’s and why capacity has been lower this winter than it was during the summer.

Rob Mercer MLC, rather than focussing on capacity, asked Mr Ashford what is the current bed availability at Noble’s.

Mr Ashford said: ‘The bed capacity in terms of free beds changes on a daily basis. One of the reasons we did, was that in some cases, on some wards, particularly around surgical wards and also medical wards, some days there was as little as one free bed available, but it differs from day to day so it’s impossible to give a full view of bed capacity as it can change hour by hour, day by day.’

Earlier the Minister, responding to a question from Bill Shimmins MHK, had told Tynwald that at the start of June, Noble’s had 87 Covid adult beds, 33 community beds in PPU and Ward 20. There were 93 acute adult medical and surgical beds, all non-Covid and 40 womens and childrens beds. 

By the end of December, there were 63 acute adult surgical beds, 79 acute adult medical beds and 73 womens and childrens beds.

After further probing by Mr Shimmins, Mr Ashford said the decrease in capacity was as a result of changes made such as Ward 20 now being used for vaccine rollouts, but that if it became necessary to increase capacity at Noble’s due to a situation, such as a Covid outbreak, then the ward could be reverted back. He also confirmed that the PPU (Private Patients Unit) is not being used as the DHSC intends to reopen this when possible.