Hospital discharge delays costly for NHS Borders

MSP Colin Smyth
MSP Colin Smyth

Delays in patients being discharged from hospital cost NHS Borders more than £200,000 in April this year.

Figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in April this year 1,005 bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge at a cost to the health board of £234,165 – a considerable increase of 240 bed days lost in the same period two years ago.

Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically cleared to go home but cannot leave hospital, often because a social care package is not in place.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “These figures show that despite promises from this SNP Scottish Government to abolish delayed discharge the situation is actually getting worse.

“Instead of tackling delayed discharge the Government has simply passed more cuts onto Scottish Borders Council and the local health and social care partnership. With fewer resources more people are stuck in hospital when they could go home. We need to end the cuts to councils so that we can invest in local services such as home care.”