Delayed discharge costs

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Delayed hospital discharges cost NHS Ayrshire and Arran over £870,000 in one month.

Figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in April this year 3,738 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge. This came at a cost to the health board of £718,805. This was a considerable increase of the 653 bed days lost in the same period in 2018.

Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically able to go home but cannot leave hospital, often because a social care package is not in place.

In 2015, then SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison promised to abolish delayed discharge out of the system completely.

South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “These figures show that despite promises from this SNP Scottish Government to abolish delayed discharge the situation is actually getting worse. With 653 more bed days lost in Ayrshire as a result of delayed discharge this April compared to this time last year, its cleat that the SNP must take urgent action.

“Instead of tackling delayed discharge the Government has simply passed more cuts onto Ayrshire’s local authorities and the health and social care partnership which means they don’t have the resources they need. With fewer resources people are stuck in hospital when they are medically cleared to go home.”