The Walton Centre acknowledged its bed occupancy rate
was sometimes high because it was the only hospital in the area treating life-threatening neurological conditions.
They said when hospital bed occupancy rates
were high, MRSA infection rates increased.
Over the last five years two North East foundation trusts have seen these bed occupancy rates
rise by more than 10%.
He added: "Our bed occupancy rate
is consistently running at a high level, because we are a very big and a very busy city centre hospital.
It suggested that on the day of the survey wards were running at full capacity with a bed occupancy rate
of 98 per cent.
"They gave me assurances that there had been no moves to encourage patients away from Shotley Bridge and that they are looking very carefully for reasons why the bed occupancy rate
This could be achieved by having a bed occupancy rate
of less than 85 per cent, by having a senior medical presence on the 'shop floor' to help to prevent unnecessary admissions and by improving the funding and provision of community care.
A bed occupancy rate
of 85pc and an improvement in the funding and provision of community care were suggested as the best way to improve access to hospital beds.
Liverpool has the highest bed occupancy rate
in England, with 146 admissions per 1,000 of its population.