South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said that delayed discharge in Dumfries and Galloway is spiralling out of control.

It comes has latest figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in July 2019 1,712 bed days were lost due to delayed discharge. This came at a cost to NHS Dumfries and Galloway of £398,896.

The figures reveal a 70% increase in lost bed days compared to the same time last year when 1,005 bed days were lost due to delayed discharge.

In the first four months of the new financial year 6,495 bed days were lost, this came at a cost of just over £1.5 million for the health board.

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, “It is clear that SNP Scottish Government cuts to our local NHS and Dumfries and Galloway Council are causing delayed discharge to spiral out of control. SNP Health Secretary’s have previously promised to eradicate delayed discharge but now the delays are getting worse.  This SNP Government are completely failing to tackle this crisis and each delayed discharge is a drain on NHS resources which are being spent keeping people in hospital, needlessly putting people at risk of hospital-acquired infections.

“In the month of July alone delayed discharge cost NHS Dumfries and Galloway nearly £400,000 – that’s money that could be spent on medicines, more staff and new equipment.

“This is no reflection on the hardworking staff who d a fantastic job but are seriously under resourced. We must end the cuts to our NHS and councils to stop patients needlessly being kept in hospital simply because there is not enough resources for the social care package needed to let them go home and be cared for there.”

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