2 April 2019

The number of people being left stuck in hospital despite being medically fit to leave has soared year-on-year, Scottish Labour can reveal.

The practice known as delayed discharge, often arises because a social care package - that would allow someone to safely return home or to a community setting - is not in place.

At the February census point there were 1,419 people stuck in hospital whose discharge was delayed, an increase of 9% compared to February 2018. Over the course of the month, this affected 40,813 bed days across the health service.

The most up to date estimated cost of each delay is £234, working out to a total of £9.55million in February alone.

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Monica Lennon said:

“Underinvestment in social care continues to prevent people from safely leaving hospital, despite the SNP promising to end delayed discharge.

“It’s time the Scottish Government kept its word and put the dignity and wellbeing of people in need of social care first.

“Delayed discharge is an expensive drain on pressured NHS resources and can expose people to hospital infections when they could be recuperating at home.

“SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman must set out her plans to deliver the health and social care services that Scots need.”

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