5 February 2020

Scottish Labour has today called on the SNP government to end the costly practice of delayed discharge by providing a fair deal for local councils in this year’s budget.

The latest figures from ISD show that in December 2019, 45,404 bed days were spent in hospital by patients who were medically fit to leave – a six per cent rise on the same month in 2018.

Analysis of ISD figures by Scottish Labour show that since Jeane Freeman assumed office as the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, the cost to health boards of delayed discharge has reached £197.8 million.

In total, since Jeane Freeman became Health Secretary patients have spent 797,491 days stuck in hospital despite being medically fit to leave.

Scottish Labour said that the ongoing problems with delayed discharge have reached a crisis point and urged SNP Ministers to invest in social care in the upcoming budget.

Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon said :

"SNP Ministers promised to end delayed discharge, but it’s a promise they’ve broken over and over again.

“We can’t continue to do social care on the cheap. "That’s why Scottish Labour is calling for a fair deal for local councils in this year’s budget, to put an end to the delayed discharge crisis that has cost our NHS hundreds of millions of pounds.

“People being stuck in hospital for too long because the care they need isn’t in place is not only distressing for them and their families, it’s putting unnecessary strain on our hospitals.

“The SNP has been mismanaging our health service for thirteen years and has fuelled a crisis in social care.

"Enough is enough and that’s why Scottish Labour is calling for the budget to invest in local councils, prioritise social care and end delayed discharge once and for all.”
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