Responding to the official figures estimating that delayed discharges cost the NHS £125 million in 2016/17, with an estimated average daily bed day cost of £234, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"Earlier this year my party uncovered people stuck in hospital for up to 618 days after medical staff had declared them ready to leave. Now we know the cost of such an awful wait for just one patient could be in the region of £145,000.
"These are eye-watering sums of money for what, in this particular case and indeed the majority of cases, is an entirely avoidable problem. Most patients are waiting on a care home place, social care support to enable them to live in their own home or for an assessment to be conducted.
"The cost of delayed discharges to the NHS, patients and their families is immense. It interrupts the flow of the entire hospital, causing delays in A&E to cancelled operations. SNP ministers must now set out their plans for reducing avoidable delayed discharges and the progress they expect to be made tackling it over the coming months."