Patients stuck in hospital for 500,000 days


New figures released today have revealed that people who are ready to leave hospital have been left waiting for over half a million days during the year 2019-2020. 

The data released by ISD Scotland also reveals that the cost of delayed discharge in 2018-2019 was £134 million.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:

“Delayed discharge figures are a disappointment every time they are released. Healthy patients are waiting in hospital, preventing others from getting the treatment they need and impacting their own mental health.

"What's more the discharge backlog meant there were far more people waiting in hospital than there should have been when the Scottish Government came to rapidly discharge patients into care homes in March and April.

“In 2015 the SNP Health Secretary promised to totally eradicate delayed discharge. It has been a long five years for the thousands of patients who have seen this commitment fall by the way side."

  • In 2019/20, people delayed in their discharge accounted for 542,204 bed days in NHSScotland. Of these, two thirds (67%) were occupied by people aged 75 years and over.
  • There has been a 4% increase in the average daily number of delayed discharge beds occupied between 2018/19 and 2019/20. The reasons for delay are: awaiting completion of care arrangements, awaiting place availability, complex delay reasons, awaiting community care assessment, other including funding, transport,  patient and family related reasons.
  • In 2018/19 the estimated cost of delayed discharges in NHS Scotland was £134 million, with an estimated average daily bed cost of £257.

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