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Lanarkshire and Falkirk Liberal Democrats

Cole-Hamilton reveals 5 year wait for patient to be discharged from hospital

January 9, 2022 9:14 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today revealed the longest waits experienced by patients forced to stay in hospital after doctors have declared them ready to leave including a patient in Tayside who had to wait more than five years to be discharged.

Figures uncovered by Scottish Liberal Democrats through freedom of information requests reveal:

Recent figures from Public Health Scotland showed 1 in 14 (7.0%) beds in NHS Scotland were occupied by people who were delayed in their discharge, of whom 66% were due to health and social care reasons such as care packages not being available. Public Health Scotland estimates the cost of delayed discharges in NHS Scotland amounted to £142 million last year, with an average daily bed cost of £262.

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:

"Delayed discharges have a huge impact on patients and their families. Once you are declared fit to leave, there is nothing more disheartening than being forced to wait in a hospital as the days tick by.

"Delayed discharges involve eye-watering sums of money for the NHS and in the majority of cases it is an entirely avoidable problem. Most people are waiting on a care home place, social care support to enable them to live in their own home or for an assessment to be conducted.

"It has been a full five years since the SNP's target to end delayed discharges was missed. Despite plan after plan ministers haven't managed to make a dent in the problem. It is time they delivered a step change in social care pay and conditions to open up the options for moving people out of hospital and into more suitable care as soon as they are ready.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to press the Scottish Government to deliver new hope for patients and staff across the health service."