The number of hospital ‘bed days’ lost because patients have been delayed in their discharge despite being clinically fit enough to leave has soared under the SNP.
New official figures published today have revealed that Health Secretary Shona Robison has broken her promise to ‘eradicate delayed discharge’. In August, 45,551 days were spent in hospital by people delayed in their discharge, up from 43,919 in July. There were 1,472 people delayed at the August 2016 census, an increase from 1,396 in the previous month. Of those, 374 were awaiting a care home place (up from 320 in July), and 359 were awaiting arrangements for social care support (up from 328).
The new data comes just one week after it emerged there are only 22,284 available beds in our NHS – compared to 27,735 when the SNP first took office in 2007.
Scottish Labour’s Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar condemned the SNP’s ‘mismanagement’ of the health service. He said:
“These figures show that Shona Robison has not only failed to eradicate delayed discharge as she pledged, but the situation is continuing to get worse. Her promise to patients is in tatters.
Behind these dry statistics are hundreds of patients who just wants to get out of hospital.
There are more than 5,000 fewer hospital beds since the SNP took office, so Scots will rightly wonder why we are cutting so many beds when we still have such a problem with delayed discharge.
We all know our NHS staff are doing the best they can under the circumstances, but they are over worked, undervalued and under resourced by an SNP Government that is guilty of mismanaging our NHS.
The cuts that health boards are being forced to make over the coming years will only make this worse.That’s why Scottish Labour has proposed using the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop the cuts to our public services, support our staff and deliver for patients.”