Dozens of medical patients have been moved on to non-medical wards at hospitals in central Lancashire – because of bed shortages.
Data uncovered through a Freedom of Information request shows that over the past four years 154 patients at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust were moved to non-medical wards.
Figures also show that in the past five years 382 elective operations were cancelled on the day of surgery or after admission for surgery for non-clinical reasons.
Bosses at the Trust – which runs the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital – said there is no correlation between the two sets of data.
However Steve Turner, campaign organiser of the The Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation Campaign said the numbers were “worrying.”
He added: From my point of view there’s no way it can’t not be connected.
“This is a result of financial pressures and privatisation.”
Earlier this year the The Evening Post reported that the Royal Preston Hospital had failed to meet a number of inspection standards following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
During that inspection a number of patients told inspectors they had been moved around wards more times than they felt necessary and a few patients reported being woken up during the night to be moved around.
One patient described his experience as “being moved from pillar to post”.
The hospital has since been re-inspected but a follow up report is yet to be published.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “It is critical patients who require urgent care are admitted and treated promptly, so if no medical beds are available such patients may be looked after temporarily in another specialty ward.
“These patients remain under the care of a senior medical doctor and are regularly reviewed by the specialist medical team, and are moved to the most appropriate environment for their condition.”