Health Secretary comments on latest figures
Commenting on delayed discharge statistics published today, Health Secretary Shona Robison, said:
"The Scottish Government has been clear that tackling delayed discharge is one of our key priorities for the health service. This is a significant challenge and in January we announced a £100 million investment over three years to help local integration partnerships tackle delayed discharge.
"Good progress has been made since then, with the data for this August showing the number of occupied bed days has fallen by 4,000 when compared to the same month last year - an 8 per cent reduction. In addition, the total number of delays and those delays longer than three days have also come down from September 2014.
"However, it is disappointing to see delayed discharge numbers increasing from the previous month. Local authorities and NHS boards must do more to ensure the right care is available for people in the community when they are fit to be discharged from hospital.
"We are aware that there are a few partnerships, in particular Fife, Highland and Edinburgh, that are facing difficulties and account for over 40 per cent of the delays over three days. We have identified key actions we expect these areas to take, and requested that action plans be developed for each area.
"The Scottish Government is investing over £30 million this year from the delayed discharge fund and expect to see improvements later in the year. In addition to the delayed discharge funding, a further £10.7 million is being allocated to NHS Boards to ease pressure on acute hospitals over winter.
"We have also legislated to integrate adult health and social care which will join up the planning of local services and ensure smoother and quicker discharges from hospital.
"Finally, it is important to note that most partnerships are already successfully tackling what is a significant challenge. Thirteen local authorities have eradicated all delays over 6 weeks, with a further thirteen in single figures. Half of all local authorities record delays over 72 hours in single figures.
"While we don't underestimate the scale of the challenge, and the effort required to reduce delayed discharge further, good progress has been made in some areas and this should be recognised."
Delayed discharge statistics are published by ISD Scotland: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Health-and-Social-Community-Care/Publications/index.asp#1501