OBESE patients are forcing the Countess of Chester Hospital to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on specialist beds and equipment.
A Freedom of Information response reveals that during the past five years the hospital spent £507,780 on furniture and equipment for obese patients.
This included £185,528 on 153 beds designed for heavier people.
Among the items listed is a heavy-duty armchair, which can handle a 40st person, costing £430, a commode chair designed to support a 45st patient, costing £426, a trolley costing £3,500 and seven theatre tables costing a total of £218,000.
Over the years the Countess has bought specialist wheelchairs, hoists and a heavy-duty walking frame.
In addition, North West Ambulance Service has five ambulances which can carry bariatric patients, which have been operating as part of the regular fleet for ‘a number of years’.
However, a spokeswoman said: “One vehicle per county is enough for the demand. It’s more of a hospital issue rather than getting the patient to hospital.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service sometimes has to help ambulance crews with obese patients.