Bed-blocking on the increase in NHS Scotland

John Lamont
John Lamont

The total number of bed days occupied by delayed discharge patients in the Borders increased during the latest quarter, new figures have revealed.

Between January and March 2014, a total of 2,304 bed days were used up by delayed discharge patients, rising to 2,544 between April and June.

The new figures come from the latest report on the subject, ‘Delayed Discharges in NHS Scotland’ published this week.

It comes as bed blocking across Scotland has reached a four year high.

In total there were 1,768 bed days used up because of standard delayed discharge patients and 776 bed days used up by code nine patients.

Standard delayed discharge refers to a patient who clinically has been judged ready for discharge.

Code nine patients are those for whom the standard maximum delay is not applicable because they have more complex needs.

Nearly half of the delays in discharges were due to patients waiting for places in care homes to become available.

Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, John Lamont laid the problem at the door of the government.

He said: “The problem of delayed discharge is a serious issue here in the Scottish Borders.

“Despite repeated promises from the SNP to address the problem they have continually failed to take the action needed.

“Bed blocking is bad for patients, bad for hospitals and the failure of the SNP to take action is an indictment on their management of the health service here in Scotland.”