Figures released by Public Health Scotland on Tuesday show delayed discharge continues to be a concern across south Scotland.

The numbers have increased by 80 per cent in Dumfries and Galloway in a year, between December 2021 and December 2022.

Comparing the figures between 2021 and 2022, NHS Borders showed a 21 per cent increase and NHS Ayrshire and Arran reported a 76 per cent increase.

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 or there is a lack of places in care homes or sheltered housing.

Across the region thousands of hours of assessed care is not being provided in homes because of a lack of carers.

An increasing number of care home closures are also reducing the opportunities for older people to leave hospital if they require a care home place.

Colin Smyth said: “The monthly figures for December continue to show large numbers of people affected by delayed discharge across the south of Scotland. There was a particularly large jump in the numbers in Dumfries and Galloway compared to the previous year.

“Despite what the Scottish Government would have us believe, the lack of carers and the problem of delayed discharge have not suddenly appeared because of Covid or the flu.

“They were there in 2015 when the SNP promised to eradicate delayed discharge. However, eight years on, we have never been so far away from achieving that.

“The health secretary consistently says that we cannot afford to pay our care workers the bit more that could help to recruit the carers who are needed.

“The sticking plaster is apparently to pay health boards to discharge patients, not back home where they want to be, but into care homes where they do not want to be—and, in rural areas, those care homes are often miles from their family.

“That will not work: although many boards are already buying up beds in care homes, there are not enough because those homes also cannot recruit care staff.

“We need long term investment, including tackling the woeful low level of sheltered housing locally, but the Government could start by backing Labour’s plans to pay care workers a fair wage of £12 an hour, rising to £15 which would help with the recruitment crisis.”

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search