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Dismay at NHS Ayrshire & Arran's delayed discharge figures

An MSP is calling on the Scottish Government to boost support for NHS Ayrshire & Arran to help them tackle delayed discharge.

Delayed discharge occurs when a patient, clinically ready for discharge, cannot leave hospital due to other external factors.

At present, issues with health and social care facilities is the main cause of delayed discharge in NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

And with the recent publication of September 2022’s figures, it was revealed that 5,813 bed days were occupied in NHS Ayrshire & Arran as a result of delayed discharge.

On average, 194 bed days were occupied each day unnecessarily.

South Scotland Conservative List MSP, Sharon Dowey, said: “It’s unbelievable that 5,813 bed days were taken up in September as a result of delayed discharge. It’s unbelievable because back in 2015, the SNP promised they would eradicate the problem in its entirety.

“Looking at the figures, 4,010 of the bed days taken up in NHS Ayrshire & Arran were a result of health and social care problems, with some relating to family-related issues.

“However, instead of supporting social care in an attempt to eradicate delayed discharge, the SNP are pushing ahead with their National Care Service plans.

“If the SNP are serious about eradicating delayed discharge and supporting Scotland’s NHS, they need to re-think their National Care Service plans which are estimated to cost £1.3 billion.

“Instead, they should be spending this money on frontline care that is provided locally.”

She added: “My colleagues and I will continue to hold the Scottish Government to account for their failures to eradicate delayed discharge, and to ensure that reforming Scotland’s social care system is done as effectively as possible.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Delayed discharge continues to be the single biggest factor driving up A&E waits and Health Boards are striving to ensure people leave hospital without delay, freeing up vital beds for those who need them most.

“A key focus of our winter plan is on social care and actions to encourage authorities to help ease delays.

“We are engaged in intensive discussions with local authorities and integration authorities to ensure every single ounce of spare capacity in the community is being utilised.

“Our £600 million winter plan will see us recruit 1,000 new NHS staff and our £50 million Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative looks to drive down A&E waits through scheduled urgent appointments, Hospital at Home and directing people to most appropriate care.”

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