So we're constantly hearing about the lack of them and fights for them and the need for more, but has anyone looked at the design of the hospital bed recently? Having just spent a very long week in Bath RUH having suffered a ruptured appendix I can only begin to express how much improvement the hospital bed needs.
Firstly, as a temporary bed and purely a place to sleep the current design very much serves its purpose, and yes I am recovering at home now in the comfort of my own bed. However, as a healing aid and place to regain strength the bed I slept in did the job but could have done it much faster and with less patient discomfort.
My main issue when recovering was the loss of all core strength due to the surgeon cutting through my abdominal muscles. I was confined to my bed for five days straight and did not have the strength to sit up on my own. Obviously, the bed does move and the position adjusts, but the height of the bed and number of wires and tubes that attached my body to the bed did not encourage me to physically make the effort to aid my own muscular development. The discomfort caused from sleeping on the uncomfortable mattresses and with an absurd number of tubes attached to the patient does not encourage them to mobilise and speed up recovery time.
Once you are mobile and alert you are allowed to go home and recover in your own comfortable environment, thus, freeing up another hospital bed space for a patient who needs it. Therefore, by addressing the ergonomic issues and investing in the redevolpment of the NHS provided bed, the comfort and speed of recovery of patients would be increased and crucial waiting times in medical situations would be significantly reduced.