Delayed discharge complacency

I've warned ministers against complacency over delayed discharges after new statistics showed more people in hospital after they were declared ready to leave.

The delayed discharge census, published by ISD Scotland, revealed that the number of people in hospital for health and social care reasons at the end of January increased to 1,139, compared to 989 in December 2016.

We all want to see the integration of health and social care boards work. However, today’s statistics show that nearly a year on from their launch we have yet to see their work have an impact on delayed discharge figures.

Last month the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed that some patients were stuck in hospital 500 days longer than necessary. These are patients ready to leave but who couldn’t because of a lack of assessment, care home place or carers.

With the number of beds in our hospitals decreasing in recent years, large-scale bed blocking is putting needless pressure on our hospitals.

Ministers must not be complacent. We need to see meaningful action from the Scottish Government to ensure that such waits are eliminated from the system.

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