Responding to new statistics showing that there were 1,109 patients in hospital unnecessarily due to 'health and social care reasons' at the June 2018 census, 150 more patients than at the same point last year, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"It is appalling to see a 16% rise year-on-year in the number of patients stuck in hospital because of health and social care shortages.
"Recent Scottish Liberal Democrat investigations found patients waiting up to 600 days.
"Medical staff have said these patients are ready to leave hospital but they are trapped because the support needed to move on simply isn't available. Each patient and the NHS as a whole pays a huge price for this.
"Ending this scandal must be a priority for the new Health Secretary. We need to see plans for reducing avoidable delayed discharges and to hear what progress ministers expect to be made in the coming months."
'Health and social care reasons' include patients waiting on a care home place, social care support to enable them to live in their own home and those waiting on a needs assessment to be conducted.