£3m cost of bed blocking in the Borders

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton.
Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton.

The cost to NHS Borders for delayed discharges from hospital has been estimated at £3 million.

Figures from a Scottish Conservative Freedom of Information request showed that 12,951 days were occupied by Borders patients last year who were fit to leave hospital.

It is estimated that this cost NHS Borders £3,030,534 last year, with the most recent figure for the average cost of delayed discharge standing at £234 per day, according to ISD Scotland.

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP, Rachael Hamilton said that delayed discharge causes misery for patients who in many cases are able to leave hospital, but remain in a hospital bed due to a lack of suitable care packages and care home places.

Ms Hamilton praised doctors, nurses and staff for their hard work to keep the NHS running smoothly, and put the blame on the Scottish Government for the lack of improvement in reducing bed blocking.

Ms Hamilton said: “This £3 million could have been spent elsewhere in the NHS, but the SNP Government’s failure to properly manage Scotland’s NHS means it has been used to deal with delayed discharges.

“Delayed discharge has caused huge problems in hospitals for several years now, yet the SNP government has made little progress in this area. It is disappointing and upsetting for hundreds of patients who are fit to leave but have nowhere to go.

“Doctors, nurses and staff work tirelessly to help patients recover, and we are indebted to their unceasing efforts, yet we know they are the ones bearing the brunt of the SNP’s poor stewardship of the Scottish NHS.

“We keep hearing of reform and improvement plans from the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, but nothing ever happens.”