A new report from NHS has shown a huge increase in the number of bed days lost as a result of delayed discharge of patients in Dumfries and Galloway.

Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically cleared by their doctor to leave hospital but is delayed in doing so, primarily because the relevant health and social care packages are not in place to allow them to go back home or into another care setting. Health and social care packages are packages which allow a patient with health issues to live as best they can. Often it involves ensuring homes are adapted to allow patients to live in or the provision  of carers.

The most recent figures (for July 2017) showed that 936 bed days were lost as a result of patients being able to medically leave hospital but not having the correct packages in place. This is a huge increase from 564 days lost the previous month.

The growth in the number of hospital beds being taken up by patients who could leave is an on-going issue for the NHS in Scotland as cuts from the Scottish Government to local authorities and local health boards have made delivering health and social care packages more difficult.

Commenting on the release of the figures by the Colin Smyth, Shadow Health Minister said:

“The report shows yet again the problems are health service in facing as a result of a lack of funding from the SNP Government. Our NHS and social care staff do a fantastic job but the pressure they are under is becoming unbearable and there simply isn’t enough of them.  The figures show that the overwhelming majority of delayed discharge cases are due to problems with health and social care, underlining the SNP’s failure to properly invest in social care. Patients and families deserve better than to be told that they or their loved ones are fit to leave hospital, but they have to stay in because they cannot get the help they need in their own homes or in another care setting. The Health Secretary Shona Robison promised that she would eradicate delayed discharge in 2015, yet here we are two years later and the problem is getting worse. It is just not acceptable.

“We need to say a massive increase in the money available to be spent on our health service and that is what Labour are committed to doing. It is what patients, their families and our NHS and social acre deserves”.


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Health and social care / patient and family related reasons

Code 9

All delays2

NHS Board area of treatment1

Number of bed days


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Dumfries & Galloway