New statistics have revealed a 15% year-on-year increase in the number of people on delayed discharge for health and social care reasons, causing Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP to call on SNP ministers to publish their plans for reducing avoidable delayed discharges.
At the August census, the number of patients delayed for health and social care reasons was 1,165. This compares to 1,100 in July 2018 and 1,015 at the same time last year.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
"It is intolerable that more than 1,100 people are stuck in hospital every day. These are people medical staff have declared well enough to leave but who are unable to do so because of a lack of care capacity in the community. This in turn causes an interruption in flow throughout the whole health service, leading to cancelled operations and delays in A&E.
"When patients are trapped in hospital, sometimes for hundreds of nights on end, their condition can worsen and opportunities to rebuild their lives are lost. Delayed discharges have a huge human cost and a huge cost to the NHS too. Staff are working around the clock but the support they need just isn't there.
"That is why the Health Secretary should set out the Scottish Government's plans for reducing avoidable delayed discharges and the progress they expect to be made tackling it over the coming months."