Delayed discharge patients cannot wait four years for social care reform

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today warned the First Minster that patients who are well enough to leave but are unable to do so because social care packages are not available are being let down by plans to reform social care which will not come into effect until 2026.

Speaking in the chamber, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“The crisis in our NHS is directly linked to what is going on right now in social care.

“Top doctors are saying delayed discharges are the worst they have ever seen. 

“There are currently 1,800 patients well enough to leave hospital but who can’t, in large part because there is no care package to help them home.

“That’s the equivalent of all the patients in Caithness General, Borders General, the Sick Kids, DGRI and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary put together.

“The SNP solution is a ministerial takeover of social care which my party has opposed from the start.

“Remember, it was SNP ministers who discharged Covid-positive patients into our care homes.

“We can’t afford to wait four years for the wrong solution. This crisis is at our gates right now.

“So can I ask the First Minister why won’t she meet that crisis now with proper pay, fair conditions and local reform?”

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