SNP MSP says flagship health plans "not working"

Christine Grahame said integration plans are "not working"
Christine Grahame said integration plans are "not working"
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Flagship Scottish Government plans to drive down hospital waits through the integration of health and social are "not working in practice", " a Nationalist backbencher has told Nicola Sturgeon.

SNP MSP Christine Grahame said today that one of her constituents had been stuck in hospital for eight months awaiting a "care package" as she raised shortcomings in a recent watchdog report.

Among the aims of integrating health and social care was to drive down the problem of bed blocking in Scotland's NHS. This sees hundreds of elderly patients unable stuck in hospital even though they are clinically well enough to leave. But bed blocking has nonetheless been rising in recent months because patients don't have a "care package" to allow them to return home.

Ms Grahame raised a recent Care Inspectorate report into services for older people in the Borders which identified delays in assessments, as well as providing services.

"I have one constituent admitted to the Borders General Hospital in February, not assessed until June and still waiting on his care package even as I speak," she told Ms Sturgeon at First Ministers Questions today..

"By my calculation that's eight months."

Ms Grahame added: "Admirable though the integration of health and social care, it is actually not working in practice."

The average number of NHS hospital beds occupied per day in August 2017 was 1,343. This compares to a daily average of 1,279 in May.

The First Minister said she was aware of the Care Inspectorate report and revealed Health Secretary Shona Robison has already spoken to the local health board and leader of the council about these issues.

Ms Sturgeon said Healthcare improvement Scotland will be take "all necessary improvement action."

She added: "I know that NHS Borders has already taken steps to improve leadership, including learning from other NHS boards."

A spokesman for Ms Sturgeon later said the integration of health ans social care was working well.