Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said its time for the SNP to “get a grip” over delayed discharge as the latest figures show that the problem continuing to rise in Dumfries and Galloway.

The figures published today (14th August) from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) show that in June 959 bed days were lost in Dumfries and Galloway as a result of delayed discharge. The cost of these lost bed days was £233,447.

In February 2015, the then Health Secretary Shona Robinson MSP said she was, “absolutely determined,” to eradicate delayed discharge by the end of 2015.

Earlier this year Colin Smyth MSP revealed that since that announcement, delayed discharge had cost NHS Dumfries and Galloway nearly £9 million.

The latest figures for June now means that the cost of delayed discharge locally has topped over £9 million.

Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically cleared to go home but cannot leave hospital.

Colin Smyth MSP will now write to the SNP’s new Health Secretary Jeane Freeman demanding that action is taken to fix this broken promise.

Colin Smyth said, “Again, we see a SNP Government broken promise when it comes to our local NHS. The Government’s failure over delayed discharge means that the cost for NHS Dumfries and Galloway is now over £9 million. This money would have been better spent on increasing services and tackling the NHS recruitment crisis facing our region.

The SNP Government must now take responsibility and properly resource our NHS. I have written to Jeane Freeman, the new Health Secretary asking her to take immediate action to tackle delayed discharge and fix this broken promise.

Scottish Labour would end the cuts to local authorities to ensure that there are no cuts to social care budgets and deliver a National Guarantee for Care Workers. This would ensure that all care workers are given appropriate training and paid the living wage which would help deliver the radical change needed to our NHS. Too often people are fit to leave hospital but they can’t do so because there isn’t a care package in place to allow them to go home, so they have to stay in hospital and that is nothing short of a scandal.”

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