By Lucy Ashton
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have been joined by Scottish Labour in their call to the SNP to address their “legacy” of delayed discharges, as new figures show the number of patients getting stuck in hospital is creeping back up once again.
New figures show that in May 2021, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,140. This number has been increasing since the emergency interventions at the beginning of the pandemic.
The census showed that health and social care reasons accounted for over half (58%) of the delays reported, as the reason behind delays for 531 patients.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: “Successive SNP governments have categorically failed to get systems in place so that patients can move from hospital back into the community quickly and safely. These figures show the legacy of their distraction and mismanagement continues.
“It can drag down your health to be in hospital when you should be cared for in the community.
“The NHS is under pressure like never before. Time is precious. The more staff tied up because care packages are not in place, the harder it is to deal with the day to day demands.
“A new and improved care system can’t get lost in the weeds of new centralised boards and bureaucracies, which is the risk of a National Care Service. The government should instead get on and establish new national care standards that patients can depend on, backed by a step change in pay, conditions and careers for the social care staff.”
Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie and LibDem leader Willie Rennie.
Meanwhile Jackie Baillie, the Dumbarton MSP who is Labour’s health spokesperson said: ” “Delayed discharge was an issue within our NHS long before the pandemic hit, and it is one that time and time again the NHS has failed to address.
“The SNP promised to reduce delayed discharge to zero many years ago, but have singularly failed to do so.
“The number of patients currently in hospital as a delayed discharge are completely unacceptable and these numbers will only get worse without action to address it.
“Our NHS is currently under enormous pressure and frontline staff are working around the clock to keep us safe.
“The Scottish Government must ensure that the NHS has the support and resources that it needs so that patients are not left to stay in hospital any longer than they need to.”