Lothian delayed discharge figures highlight problems in NHS, MSP claims

NEW figures on delayed discharges in Lothian hospitals highlight improvements that need to be made to the NHS once the Covid crisis is over, an MSP has claimed.

By Ian Swanson
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 7:00 am
Lothian had a higher average number of beds blocked because of delayed discharges than anywhere else in Scoltand
Lothian had a higher average number of beds blocked because of delayed discharges than anywhere else in Scoltand

The annual statistics for 2019/20 show that out of all Scotland’s health boards NHS Lothian had the highest daily average number of beds occupied by people who were medically fit to go home but could not be discharged because care packages were not available.

There were an average of 256 blocked beds over the year. But after extra funding was made available to tackle the problem and help free-up beds at the start of the pandemic, blocked beds fell from 235 in March to just 84 in April and May.

Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson: “What this tells us is our health service is under huge pressure and despite lots of promises it's still struggling to do the things we all expect it to do.

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“The fact these people cannot be discharged means they are occupying beds, preventing other people from getting treatment and it signifies a real failure to invest in the services and support people need to get them home.

“Until we address that the health service is going to struggle and part of building back better is undoubtedly to look at what has happened to older people and making sure those services are in place.

"The figures tells us what was happening before the crisis, but it also tells something very important about what needs to be put right when we rebuild after the crisis.”

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