By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on the Scottish Government to stop their centralisation mission and get to grip with the social care crisis on the ground, as new figures show a 57% year-on-year increase in delayed discharges.
In February 2022 there were 47,713 days spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed – up 57% compared to February 2021 (30,450 days).
Census figures also show that the number of people stuck in hospital because they are waiting for a care at home package has almost doubled since last April.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, pictured right, commented: “The number of people stuck in hospital unnecessarily has increased significantly in a year, showing the pressure and gaps in social care in the community. This is an extremely worrying trend, action must be taken immediately before this gets out of control.
“If the Health Secretary [Humza Yousaf] wanted to genuinely help patients and staff, he would focus his time and attention on fixing the problems that make securing care packages so difficult.
“Instead, the Scottish Government are consulting on centralising services, which is years away and already seeing kickback from practitioners across the country. The solution to social care isn’t a centralised ministerial takeover.
“This is urgent which is why Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to push ministers to trigger the transformation of staff pay and conditions in this year’s budget. Long-term this should be backed by a Health and Social Care Staff Assembly that puts frontline experience and expertise at the heart of the response to this crisis.”
Meanwhile, The census data shows that in April 2021 there were 310 people on delayed discharge due to care arrangements (part of health and social care reasons). This increased to 567 by February 2022.
Where patients were delayed for more than 3 days, Health and social care reasons accounted for 920 delays (69%)
Delayed discharge data published by Public Health Scotland can be found here.