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Fall in delayed discharge

Published: 26 Jan 2016 10:00
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Latest statistics show decrease in patients delayed from leaving hospital.

Official figures published today show the number of days patients spent in hospital due to Delayed Discharge in November fell by 13 per cent compared to the same time last year.

ISD Scotland statistics published today show that 47,862 bed days were occupied by delayed discharge patients in November – a six per cent reduction from October and a 13 per cent reduction compared to November 2014.

Census figures for December, which provides a snapshot of one day during that month, also show that the number of patients waiting to be discharged was eight per cent lower than the month before.

This comes as the Scottish Government is investing an additional £2 million to tackle delayed discharge in Edinburgh. The one-off payment to the health and social care partnership will aim to bring significant reductions in delays over the coming months, through additional interim care beds; additional staffing; development of locality hubs to enable timely discharge; and introduce Clinical Support Workers.

Health Secretary Shona Robison announced the additional funding during a visit to Drumbrae Care Home in Edinburgh. Commenting on the latest figures, Ms Robison said:

"We have been clear that reducing delayed discharge is one of our key priorities for the health service. This is a significant challenge and we have committed £100 million over three years to help local integration partnerships tackle this issue.

"Partnerships have worked hard over the last year to improve the timely discharge of patients and I welcome today's figures which shows over 7,300 extra bed days were freed up in November compared to the same month in 2014.

"In addition, patients waiting longer than three days to be discharged in December were 17 per cent below the level last year - important progress as we reach winter.

"In particular some of the areas we have been working closely with to address their challenges have seen significant improvement. In Fife, delays over three days reduced by over 50 per cent during the December census when compared to November's census data.

"Indeed, more than a third of NHS and local authority partnerships kept delays over three days in single figures.

"However I recognise there is much more to do. We are ambitious in our aims in this area and we'll continue to work closely with local councils and NHS boards to reduce discharge delays and improve the availability of social care in communities.

"A good example of this targeted work is the one-off additional investment in Edinburgh will tackle the particular problems here and I look forward to seeing the resulting reduction and easing of pressure across the system.

"Last month the Deputy First Minister also announced investment of £250 million in 2016/17 through health and social care partnerships, to protect and grow social care services. We expect this to help further accelerate progress towards eradicating delayed discharge from the system."

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Vice Chairman of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (IJB), said:

"This additional funding is extremely welcome and will certainly help us to build on ongoing work to ensure that people can make a safe transition from hospital back to their homes.

"We actively work with partners in NHS Lothian, the Scottish Government as well as care providers to ensure that the right services are in place to support people to get home or to move to the right specialist provision as quickly and safely as possible. Growing demand has led to increased pressure on services, and this funding will help to create more beds and to pay for more staff.

"It's important to recognise that health and social care staff from the NHS and Council already work together very effectively to deliver integrated services, and the formation of the IJB last year will help us to build on what is solid ground."

Notes to editors

Delayed discharge statistics are published by ISD Scotland.

The additional funding for Edinburgh will be used as follows:

  • 30 additional interim care beds at Gylemuir;
  • Additional staffing in reablement and mainstream home care;
  • Development of Locality Hubs within the four IJB localities to enable timely discharge and reduce admission to hospital;
  • Introduce the deployment of Clinical Support Workers to ensure the prevention of admission and early discharge pathways are supported.