Hospital Patient “Waited 508 Days” For Discharge

According to figures acquired by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, some hospital patients waited over a year to be discharged even though they were clinically ready to leave, including one patient who stayed for 508 days.

Figures from the freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats have shown that some hospital patients waited over a year to be discharged even though they were clinically ready to leave earlier than that. One of the patients in Dumfries and Galloway stayed in hospital for 508 days.

Figures from Scottish Government

The patient who stayed for 508 days in Dumfries and Galloway was between 2013 and 2014.According to the Scottish government, stays in hospital has dropped from 2015 to 2016.

There were also records of yearlong delayed discharges in Fife and Highland. There were six-month delays in Ayrshire and Arran, Grampian Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Shetland and Western Isles.

Several health boards including Forth Valley, Lothian, Orkney and Tayside were unable to provide data.

Figures also showed that those who waited more than three months in hospital represented a small minority of patients in all hospitals.

Comments on the Delayed Discharges

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “In November I asked the first minister about a constituent of mine who had spent 150 nights in hospital due to delayed discharge. Nicola Sturgeon described the situation as unacceptable.

“What then are we to make of patients in hospital for up to 500 nights, perhaps because carers can’t be found to visit them at home or there isn’t a care home place available?”

He continued to say: “Under the SNP, 1,000 beds were lost from Scotland’s hospitals during the same three years. Our under-pressure NHS can ill afford delayed discharges on this extreme scale.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “The latest official figures show a 5.1% reduction in bed days associated with delayed discharge in 2016 compared with 2015 – while the same period in England experienced a 23% increase.

“One unnecessary delay, however, is one too many and we have repeated our ambition and expectation that our new integrated health and social care partnerships will address this.

“The draft budget announced an additional £107m to transfer from the NHS to health and social care partnerships to support sustainability in the care sector, bringing the NHS contribution to enhancing social care to around £500m next year, and that funding will be used to further improve social care provisions.”