South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has criticised the Scottish Government after recent figures show that delayed discharge costs NHS Dumfries and Galloway nearly £300,000 in a month.

The latest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in August this year 1,288 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge. This was at a cost of £287,224.

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

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

Colin Smyth recently wrote to the new SNP Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, to highlight the never ending delayed discharge costs in Dumfries and Galloway. In her reply the Health Secretary acknowledged the problems associated with the Recruitment Crisis which are acutely being felt in rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway.

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 Dumfries and Galloway to eradicate delayed discharge and now they are only offering warm words, and no action.

“The NHS Recruitment Crisis alongside the cuts to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Budget has led to this situation where too many people are fit to go home but no appropriate care is available outside of hospital. A Scottish Labour Government would properly fund local authorities to ends the cuts to social care budgets and deliver a National Guarantee for care workers to help fix the recruitment crisis.”

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