Edgbaston residents will be concerned to hear yesterday’s news that our new state of the art QE Hospital, which was only opened in 2010, is short of beds and having to re-open wards in the old hospital next door to cope.
I raised concerns about bed numbers on this blog (October 7th 2007 post which can be accessed via the time-line column on the right hand side). I also raised it on various occasions on Birmingham’s Health Scrutiny Committee when I was Chairman (2004-2012).
Invariably the experts’ answer was that people stay in hospital for shorter times these days – which we all know. But the baby boomers (of which I am one) are now reaching retirement age. So demand for health care is bound to increase in the coming years.
The senior school I attended was a five form entry school when I joined in 1963. The next year it had to increase to a 6 form entry to cope with the numbers. If baby boomers needed more classrooms when they were 11, it stands to reason they are going to need more health care facilities as they reach retirement and beyond.
It’s good to hear that the NHS Trust running the QE Hospital has opened up the extra wards in the old building – but it’s a sad indictment on the people who plan these things, that they are put in a position where they have to. A fortune was spent on building Edgbaston’s new hospital (money which still has to be paid back by the Trust for years and years to come) and yet just three years in, our hospital is apparently not big enough to cope with the demand. Shame!