The SNP Government’s broken promises around delayed discharges are “unacceptable”, according to South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

New figures have revealed the number of patients spending unnecessary days in hospital in Dumfries and Galloway due to delayed discharge have risen by 40 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

According to statistics released today (January 14) by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland, the total number of bed days lost as a result of delayed discharge in November 2019 was 1,801.

This was an increase of 40 per cent from 1,283 lost in November 2018. The number of bed days lost is up by a shocking 191% on the same month in 2012.

ISD Scotland estimates that the cost of delayed discharges in NHS Scotland in 2017/18 was an average of £248 per bed per day. That would put the cost of the 1,801 lost days in Dumfries and Galloway at approximately £446,648.

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, former SNP Health Minister Shona Robison promised to abolish delayed discharge from the system completely.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “The SNP Government has broken its promise to eradicate delayed discharge across in Scotland, including here in Dumfries and Galloway. This is an unacceptable situation.

“The problem is spiralling out of control, each delayed discharge is a drain on local health board resources, which are already overstretched due to a lack of funding and the ageing population.

“The Government also needs to wake up to fact that their cuts to council budgets over the years has made it more and more difficult to put in place the social care packages people need to allow them to leave hospital and be cared for at home. Until there is a stop to the cuts, ending delayed discharge will be impossible”

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