241 patients’ hospital discharge delayed six weeks or more

Health Secretary Shona Robison.
Health Secretary Shona Robison.
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Nearly 250 patients had to stay in hospital for six weeks or more after they were clinically well enough to leave, new figures have revealed.

A census carried out across Scottish hospitals in July found there were 241 patients whose discharge had been delayed by this period.

The problem of bed-blocking - also known as delayed discharge - happens when patients are clinically ready to leave hospital but are waiting for the necessary care and accommodation arrangements to be put in place.

The July census found 885 patients in total affected by this, compared to 807 in the June survey.

Over the course of July, patients spent 43,919 days in hospital as a result of bed-blocking.

READ MORE - Kezia Dugdale thousands of beds blocked despite SNP promises

Health Secretary Shona Robison said while delayed discharges “consistently peak in the summer” the position was “much improved” from last year.

Ms Robison said: “We’re determined to tackle delayed discharge, and that’s why we’re investing over £100 million over three years to accelerate improvements.”

She added: “To ensure that we have consistent information on delayed discharge across the country we’ve been working to improve the consistency of how the statistics are collected and recorded - providing a solid evidence base from which the NHS and integration partnerships can focus their efforts.

“Our efforts to accurately record and address delayed discharge stands in stark contrast to the position in England, where there have been recent reports of both delayed discharge rates rising rapidly and concerns about the accuracy of the data.

“We’ve made progress over the last 18 months in reducing the number of people delayed in hospital.

“And while levels of delayed discharge consistently peak in the summer, we are seeing a much improved position this year compared to last - with continuing reductions in the number of bed days lost.”

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