7 February 2019

The scale of delayed discharge in Scotland was so bad it would have filled Scotland’s flagship hospital, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, for almost an entire year.

Richard Leonard revealed the figures at First Minister’s Questions today.

In response, the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, erroneously claimed that the practice was reducing. In fact it has increased year on year.

The Scottish Labour leader highlighted quotes from the Chief Executive of NHS Lothian, who said that delayed discharge made it harder to hit the 4 hour A&E waiting time, led to short notice cancelled operations and meant distress for patients, families and carers.

Earlier this week it was revealed that delayed discharge cost the health service £120million last year.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“The previous Health Secretary promised to eradicate delayed discharge within a year, back in February 2015.

“Instead the scale of this problem is such that the number of people stuck in hospitals last year who did not need to be there would have filled the equivalent of every bed in Scotland’s biggest hospital the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital every day for 326 days.

“No wonder that this is having a significant impact on A&E waiting times and cancelled operations right across the country.

"There is a human cost too, with patients left in distress and discomfort.

“The SNP has to listen to patients and staff, snap out of its complacency, and finally deliver a plan to end delayed discharge.”

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