6 February 2019

The NHS spent more than £120million in Scotland keeping patients in hospital when they were fit to go home, new figures reveal today.

Figures published by ISD Scotland reveal 514,851 bed days were lost in 2018. The most up to date estimated cost of each delay is £234, working out to a total of £120.5m.

The previous health secretary Shona Robison pledged to eradicate the practice of delayed discharge, but her successor Jeane Freeman has made no such commitment.

Scottish Labour said the failure to end delayed discharges from our hospitals was due to an under funding of social care, and said that the SNP-Green budget, which real terms cuts £230.7million from council funding, would make the situation worse.

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Monica Lennon, said:

“Cash-strapped health boards are spending millions keeping people in hospital when they don’t need to be there.

“That’s down to the crisis in social care, which will only be made worse by £230 million worth of real terms cuts to local government in the SNP-Green budget.

“Scottish Labour would ensure social care gets the staff and funding it needs and in government we would introduce a National Care Workers Guarantee with a commitment to secure hours, a living wage and reimbursement for travel and training time.

"We are serious about protecting our NHS and delivering the real change that our communities need.”

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