SOME patients may be transferred to Redditch's Alexandra Hospital to tackle an expected shortfall of more than 40 beds at Worcestershire Royal Hospital this winter.

The plan has been drawn up for the busy winter period - after trust bosses admitted that, even with prior-planning, the Worcester hospital will not be able to cope.

Councillors heard at a recent meeting that patients with hip fractures and other illnesses - such as those not believed to be strokes or cardiac problems - will be transferred to The Alex.

Paul Brennan, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said the trust took lessons from last year into its preparation for this year’s winter plan and found a real need to analyse capacity and demand for beds across the county.

The county's clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) therefore asked health consultants Carnall Farrar for a full analysis of what beds were required and how measures taken could affect capacity.

But the forecast, based on a target of Worcestershire Royal Hospital running at 92 per cent occupancy, showed even if measures to address demand and capacity were working at an optimum, there would still be a shortfall of 41 beds.

More to follow.