The practice of moving patients from one bed to another at night has gone up in the past five years because of increasing demand for NHS beds, revealed figures.
As per the figures, nearly 200,000 patients in a year are shifted between hospital wards at night. A Freedom of Information request revealed that approximately 195,372 people at 58 trusts in England were moved between 11 pm and 6 am last year.
AdvertisementThe request also found out that the number of patients shifted out-of-hours has gone up by nearly 20 per cent in five years.
Dr Mark Temple of Acute Care Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians told The Times, "One of the things that distresses patients most is the feeling that they're being passed around the hospitals like parcels. Moving at any time is stressful but if it's happening in the middle of the night it's particularly stressful."
According to doctors and patients' leaders, the system of moving patients and that too when they should be asleep is "dehumanising". They said this method worsens their situation, leading to longer hospital stays and putting their health at risk.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said that one patient was moved 24 times last year. "The biggest concern is not just the stress to the patient but the safety aspect as well," Dr Mark Temple, Acute Care Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians, told The Telegraph.
The Government promised to urge trusts to see into needless moving around of patients around hospitals.