By Lucy Ashton
New statistics have today shown that the number of people stuck in hospitals has reached its worst level since records began.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned that the Scottish Government can’t afford to “wait for the wrong solution in four years” in the shape of a ministerial takeover of social care and a billion pound bureaucracy.
In September 2022, the average number of beds occupied per day in hospital due to delayed discharges was 1,832. This is the highest figure since the guidance on delayed discharges first came into place in July 2016.
The latest figures follow a new BBC investigation which estimates that at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary there are, “almost one in six hospital beds taken up by someone who could be sent home or moved to care elsewhere, if there was suitable support available.”
In 2015, the SNP Government promised to “eradicate delayed discharges from the system” within a year.
Mr Cole-Hamilton, right, said: “Today’s figures are an indictment of the crisis in social care. More people than ever before are unable to leave hospital because they can’t get the social care they need in the community.
“The government must move heaven and earth to tackle this emergency. We can’t afford to wait for the wrong solution in four years in the shape of a ministerial takeover of social care and a billion pound bureaucracy.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats would set national standards and entitlements for users to drive up the quality of care and move quickly to reward staff with better pay, better conditions and career progression through powerful national bargaining.
“Unfortunately, this SNP/Green coalition still don’t seem to care. They are choosing to waste our money and their time on a tone-deaf bid to break up the UK.”