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Wednesday, 08 November 2017

Latest figures show bed blocking in Scotland down from 2016

Written by The Press Association

The number of patients kept in hospital after being told they were well enough to leave has fallen year on year, according to official figures.

Statistics from September's census found 1,378 people had to remain in hospital due to delayed discharge, also known as bed blocking.

The figure was down on the 1,524 recorded the previous September but up marginally on the August 2017 figure of 1,370.

In September, 41,718 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed, down on the 45,074 days recorded in September 2016.

However, the average number of beds occupied per day in September was 1,391 - with this figure increasing month on month since May.

Delayed discharge happens when patients are clinically ready to leave hospital but are waiting for the necessary care and accommodation arrangements to be put in place.

Of those delayed at the September 2017 census point, 1,140 were delayed more than three days, with the most common cause cited as health and social care reasons.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "It's welcome that, compared to the same month last year, we've seen a substantial 7.4% drop in the number of days patients spent in hospital whose discharged was delayed.

"It is vital that we continue to develop truly integrated ways of working to ensure we see further improvement.

"This comes after the recent Audit Scotland report confirmed good progress on delayed discharge, highlighting a 14% reduction in the six months to March 2017. Every month since March has shown improvement compared to the same month in 2016."

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said the figures should worry ministers.

"They show more than 1,000 patients in hospital every day, who have been declared ready to leave, specifically because the help they need in the community simply isn't there," he said.

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