Bed-blocking worst in 2 years despite SNP’s improvement pledge

6 Nov 2018

Delayed discharge in Scotland has reached its worst level in two years, despite repeated promises by the SNP to tackle the problem.

Figures released today have shown there were 1529 people forced to stay in hospital despite being fit to leave in September.

That’s the most since October 2016, when 1576 were left languishing on wards across the country.

It also represents a nine per cent increase from the same period last year, and a jump of 71 instances in the space of a month.

And shadow health secretary Miles Briggs warned, with the winter months still to come, the problem was likely to get worse.

In 2015, then health secretary Shona Robison said her SNP government would “eradicate” delayed discharge in Scotland, announcing £100 million of extra investment.

And last year, she promised “progress” towards that goal.

Instead, the issue only appears to be getting worse.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“For years now the SNP has pledged to act on delayed discharge and find a way to reduce it.

“But now the problem is at a two-year high, and that’s before the winter pressures we see every year properly kick in.

“Delayed discharge is a fairly good barometer to assess the SNP’s overall performance when it comes to the NHS.

“For years the nationalists have made promises, revealed grandstanding announcements, yet nothing actually changes on the ground.

“Delayed discharge is a nightmare for patients and hospitals, and it’s time the SNP tried to make a meaningful impact on it.”