Patients waiting longer for care home place

PATIENTS are waiting longer in hospital for a care home place to be found, according to figures released yesterday.

The Conservative party obtained details showing a cumulative increase of about 5,000 days of delays since July. Compared with the same time last year, the figure is up by almost 2,500.

The figures cover delayed discharges where patients are unable to leave hospital on time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tory health spokesman Murdo Fraser said the figures are "truly worrying".

He added: "These statistics are founded on real human experiences, in this case mainly elderly people waiting too long in hospital when they should be in care.

"Quite apart from the distress that may be caused to individuals, it is hugely expensive to have delayed discharges given the much higher cost of hospital care compared to the costs of care homes."

Fraser wants health and social care budgets to be merged, which he says will help deliver a faster response to those in need of care.

The figures, released by the government, showed 324 people waited 11,602 days in October. Delayed days increased from 6,867 in July and 3,652 in April. Last year there were 9,119 days recorded in October, 6,866 in July and 3,881 in April.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Great progress has been made and the zero standard has been achieved at the last three April census points. However, that is the standard that should be met at all times and we expect partnerships to return to that position soon.

"Local authorities and health boards must work together to ensure patients do not have to stay in hospital when treatment is complete. That is why it is important that we do not just carry on doing things the same way.

"We have allocated 70 million next year to help partnerships between health boards and councils ensure that older people remain independent in their own homes, focus on reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and speed up discharge."