Labour leader Kezia Dugdale calls for SNP to protect public services

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture; John Devlin

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture; John Devlin

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Labour today highlighted continuing problems of bed blocking as the party called for the SNP to focus on the “day job” of protecting public services rather than spending too much time on Brexit.

Scottish party leader and Lothian MSP Kezia Dugdale said the NHS had lost more than two million days to delayed discharge in the past four years, including 182,000 bed days since the end of last year – the deadline by which the SNP said it would have abolished the problem.

In the same period, more than 5000 cases of delayed discharge have been identified.

One in four cases are due to patients waiting for a community care assessment.

Ms Dugdale said: “Scottish Labour will not allow the SNP government to only focus on Brexit or making a renewed case for independence. The SNP were elected as a minority government less than three months ago on a promise of getting to grips with the problems in our public services – they need to stick to that promise.

“This summer, my shadow cabinet is shining a light on areas where the SNP need to be paying more attention; areas where they made big promises, but have failed to deliver. Despite pledging to abolish delayed discharge by the end of last year, it is continuing to place a strain on hospitals across Scotland.

“Many cases are because people can’t get the care package they need in order to go home. It’s simply not good enough.”