Older people’s health is being seriously harmed by the Scottish Government’s failure to “get a grip” on delayed discharges, Age Scotland claimed as latest figures showed NHS Lothian has the worst problem.
The charity called for urgent investment in health and care along with recruitment Lothian had the biggest number of bed days lost from delayed discharge at 8145.
Age Scotland said the national total of 45,396 cost taxpayers around £10.6 million.
Chief executive Brian Sloan said: “Despite repeated promises to tackle delayed discharges, the problem is only getting worse. The latest eye-watering figures show that the Scottish Government is clearly not getting a grip on this issue.
“It’s heart-breaking to think of older people stuck in hospital beds, at risk of mobility loss, infection, and loneliness, because of a lack of care in their communities.”
Edinburgh Western Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton called for major investment in social care to “get well people out of hospital beds”.
He said: “The scandal in all this is that social care is actually quite cheap. It can cost over £500 a day to keep someone in hospital but social care costs just a fraction of that. It points to a dramatic waste of public money.”
Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs said: “There are far too many patients stuck in a hospital bed across Lothian because there is nowhere for them to go in the community”.
Edinburgh Joint Integration Board, which is responsible for social care, said the number of people delayed in leaving and bed days lost had been brought down over the past year.
A Scottish Government spokesman said no-one should have to spend unnecessary time in hospital once treatment was complete.
“That is why we are allocating more than £700 million to support social care and integration in 2019/20, helping to reduce delays in the system. We are continuing to work closely with health and social care partnerships that are facing the most significant challenges to ensure sustainable progress is achieved.”