Responding to the news that 1,314 people were stuck in hospital for health and social care reasons in January, the highest number recorded by the census since the current system began in 2016, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“There shouldn’t be a record number of people stuck in hospital because of avoidable health and social care delays.
“No one wants to be stuck in hospital when they are well enough to return home or be cared for in the community. People can be stranded there for months after medical staff have declared them well enough to leave.
“We are seeing this bottleneck because too often community care just doesn’t exist, causing hospitals to become congested right up to critical care units.
“The SNP promised to eradicate this problem years ago, but now we see it is actually worse than ever. It’s time to end the social care scandal. The Scottish Government’s new workforce plan, published a whole year late, must now make demonstrable progress.”
Delays for ‘Health and social care reasons’ include patients waiting on a care home place, social care support to enable them to live in their own home and those waiting on a needs assessment to be conducted.