Increase in delayed discharges “crippling” health service


Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has expressed disbelief that delayed discharge has increased by 9% compared to this time last year and called on SNP Ministers to lay out their plans to reduce delayed discharges across the country.

In May 2018, 43,244 days were spent in hospital by people whose had been signed off as well enough. This is an increase of 9% compared with 39,651 days in May 2017.

In May 2018, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,395. The daily average number of beds occupied has increased each month since January 2018.

The vast majority were waiting for health and social care reasons which include waiting for an assessment, funding, a care home place or support to return home.

Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

“It’s cruel to leave people trapped in hospital when they are healthy enough to go home. Across the country people have been left waiting up to 600 nights because care services aren’t sufficient for them to return to. That can have a disastrous effect on their physical and mental health.

"The integrated health and social care the system is clearly not functioning as intended. The SNP has failed to properly resource social care, mental health services and primary care.

“The government must now devise a sustainable and realistic plan to reduce the backlog and cost of delayed discharges. Scottish Liberal Democrats demand an end to the social care scandal, this problem has crippled the health service for too long.”


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