Home   News   Article

Jamie Stone claims health system is 'crippled' as delayed discharge figures are revealed


By Alan Hendry

Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our digital subscription packages!



NHS Highland patients were waiting an average of 32 days to be discharged from hospital in 2020/21, according to figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
NHS Highland patients were waiting an average of 32 days to be discharged from hospital in 2020/21, according to figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

North MP Jamie Stone claimed that the health system is being “crippled” by years of failure over social care and community-based support after it emerged that NHS Highland had the second-highest rate of delayed discharges in Scotland.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information revealed that NHS Highland patients were waiting an average of 32 days to be discharged from hospital in 2020/21.

The only Scottish health board to report a higher figure was NHS Dumfries and Galloway, at 34.5 days.

The data revealed that a total of 296 patients in the NHS Highland area waited longer than three weeks to be discharged.

Recent statistics from Public Health Scotland showed that one in 14 beds across NHS Scotland were occupied by people who were delayed in their discharge. Of these, 66 per cent were due to health and social care reasons such as care packages not being available.

The national agency estimates the cost of delayed discharges in NHS Scotland amounted to £142 million last year, with an average daily bed cost of £262.

Mr Stone, the Lib Dem MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: “Our local health and care services in Highland are under incredible pressure.

“Lengthy delayed discharges mean disheartened patients needlessly taking up hospital beds, families waiting anxiously for their loved ones to come home, demands on staff time and eye-watering extra costs.

"Health ministers have consistently failed to get a working system in place so that patients can move from hospital back into the community quickly and safely. Years of failure to get to grips with social care and community-based support is now crippling our local health system."


Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More