Delayed discharges at Scottish hospitals hit more than 500,000 bed delays

The number of delayed discharge bed days rose in Scotland last year to more than half a million, according to official statistics.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon blamed Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (pictured) for the rise in bed days.
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon blamed Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (pictured) for the rise in bed days.

Figures published by ISD Scotland show there was a 6% rise in the number of bed days between 2017/18 and 2018/19.

A total of 521, 772 bed days occupied by people delayed by their exit from hospital in Scotland were recorded in the most recent analysis.

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Of that number, 69 per cent (360,582) were occupied by people aged 75 years and over.

ISD Scotland estimates that in 2017/18, the cost of delayed discharges in NHS Scotland was £122 million - with an estimated average bed day cost of £248.

• READ MORE: Scotland's emergency departments stretched to breaking point as hospital bed numbers are 'slashed'The average daily number of delayed discharge beds occupied in 2018/19 was 1,430.

Reasons given for delays include patients awaiting completion of care arrangements, awaiting place availability and complex delay reasons.

Funding, transport, patient and family reasons were also cited in the report as contributing factors in delays.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon blamed Health Secretary Jeane Freeman for the rise in bed days.

"Jeane Freeman was supposed to fix the problems in health and social care not make them worse," she said.

"Older people and disabled people are being badly failed and in the worst cases people are dying in hospital while waiting for social care that never arrived.

"No-one has confidence in Jeane Freeman except for herself and Nicola Sturgeon.

"It's time the First Minister apologised, ended the social care crisis and put her Health Secretary on notice."