Cole-Hamilton reveals new delayed discharges figures at FMQs


I confronted the First Minister with new figures showing the shocking length of delayed discharges in Scottish hospitals.

During First Minister’s Questions, Mr Cole-Hamilton revealed the current longest waiting times, with patients waiting up to 369 in hospital after being declared ready to leave due to a lack of health and social care in the community.

The latest data from the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ investigation into delayed discharges showed patients waiting:

  • 369 days in Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • 211 days in Ayrshire and Arran
  • 190-200 in Lothian
  • 194 days in the Highlands
  • 172 days in Lanarkshire
  • 133 days NHS Fife
  • 132 days in Western Isles
  • 113 days in Dumfries & Galloway
  • 101 days in Forth Valley
  • 82 days in NHS Borders
  • 73 days in Grampian

Scottish Liberal Democrats asked specifically for delays due to 'health and social care reasons’ which includes 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.

I also asked the First Minister to visit the Western General where operations have been cancelled because there are no beds, with one consultant describing it as the worst crisis he had seen.

At the weekend, we revealed the national scandal of patients stuck in hospital for up to 500 days due to delayed discharges.

Today we are publishing details of patients in Lothian, Ayrshire, Highland and Lanarkshire are still in hospital some 200 days after they were deemed ready to leave because the care that would enable them to go home simply isn’t available.

One patient in Glasgow has been in hospital for 369 nights - more than a year.

Delayed discharges cause pressure throughout hospitals. And despite what the First Minister may think the situation is not getting better.

Last week the consultant Dr Patrick Statham came to see me. He told of the worst crisis he had seen.

Operations are being cancelled and patients are being left in pain, some having travelled long distances, because there are no beds.

I urge the First Minister to take up his invitation to visit the Western General today and explain to his patients why their operations have been cancelled.


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