South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that delayed discharge cost NHS Dumfries and Galloway over £300,000 in one month.
Figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in April this year 1,407 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge. This came at a cost to the health board of £327,831. This was a considerable increase of the 940 bed days lost in the same period in 2018.
Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically cleared 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.
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 467 more bed days lost in Dumfries and Galloway 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 have simply passed more cuts onto Dumfries and Galloway Council and the local Health and Social Care Partnership which means they don’t have the resources they need. With less resources more people are stuck in hospital when they are medically cleared to go home. We need to end the cuts to Councils so that we can invest in our vital local services such as homecare.”