Cost of bed blocking rises

Colin Smyth - Labour - South Scotland
Colin Smyth - Labour - South Scotland

Delayed discharge of patients from NHS Ayrshire and Arran hospitals is costing the health board over £800,000 a month.

The latest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in August this year 3,519 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge - at a cost of £819,927.

South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has written to the new SNP Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, to highlight the never ending bed blocking costs in Ayrshire and Arran.

In her reply the Health Secretary acknowledged the problems associated with the recruitment crisis across all health services including care homes.

Colin Smyth MSP said: “Once again we see figures for delayed discharge that show there has been no improvement with the number of bed days lost slowly increasing as we head into the winter months when there is a natural increase in pressure put on NHS resources.

“The SNP have broken their promise to the people of Ayrshire and Arran to eradicate delayed discharge and now they are only offering warm words, and no action.

“The NHS recruitment crisis alongside the cuts to Ayrshire’s three council’s budgets has led to this situation where too many people are fit to go home but no appropriate care is available outside of hospital.”