3 March 2020

Commenting on delayed discharge figures released today, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“Time and time again the SNP has promised to end delayed discharge and yet the numbers of patients stuck in hospital is continuing to increase.

Delayed discharge is very distressing for patients and their families and is putting the NHS under serious pressure.

“ It is deeply disappointing that the SNP has failed to provide social care with the funding it needs to tackle delayed discharge at this year’s budget. Scottish Labour would invest in a Scottish Care Service to provide the joined up service we need to end delayed discharge.”

The number of days spent in hospital by patients who do not need to be there is continuing to rise.

Figures released today reveal that there were 47,529 bed days lost to delayed discharge in January 2020 – an increase of 8 per cent on the same month in the previous year.

In January 2020, an average of 1,533 beds were unnecessarily occupied every day in Scottish hospitals by patients who were clinically fit to go home but whose discharge was delayed.

Delays to hospital discharge often arise because a social care package - that would allow someone to safely return home or to a community setting - is not in place.

At the January census point, 76 per cent of delays were for health and social care reasons.

Figures from ISD also revealed that falls in over 65s has been increasing to a rate of 22.5 per 1,000 in 2018/19 and falls now account for 85 per cent of all unintentional injures within this age group.

Scottish Labour suggested this highlighted the growing need for better social care and support for individuals to help them live safe, independent lives.

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