South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that delayed discharge has cost NHS Dumfries and Galloway over £1 million in the first three months of the financial year.

Latest figures for delayed discharge published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in June 2019 1,660 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge. This came at a cost to the health board of £387,780. The number of bed days lost was a significant increase from the 959 bed days lost during the same period in 2018 and the 721 bed days in 2017.

In May 2019, 1,716 bed days were lost at a cost of £399,828 and in April, 1,407 bed days were lost at a cost of £327,780. Meaning the total cost of delayed discharge has reached £1.114 million in the first three months of the financial year.

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.

Colin Smyth said, “Despite promises by the SNP Scottish Government to abolish delayed discharge the situation here in Dumfries and Galloway is getting worse, with more patients medically cleared to go home being stuck in hospital. This is bad for patients who want to be in their homes but can’t be because often a care package isn’t in place to look after them or an adaptation to their home hasn’t been carried out. But it’s also bad news for the NHS who are faced with a massive bill to keep people in hospital when they don’t need to be there.

The 73% increase in lost bed days between last June and this June demonstrates the impact that the cuts to our public services are having on patients and on the NHS. It’s time the SNP Scottish Government end the cuts to health and social care budget and end delayed discharge for good.”

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