Executive releases funds as delayed discharge figures show number of beds occupied

Almost 2,200 people in Scotland are delayed in being discharged
from hospital for longer than the standard period of six weeks and
300 for over a year, due to lack of community care resources
according to Scottish executive figures.

The figures were revealed as Malcolm Chisholm, minister for
health and community care, announced a £20 million package to
tackle delayed discharge. Chisholm accepted the statistics were
unacceptably high, but said it was an international problem and
added: “We are the first administration to count these people

Of the total NHS capacity in Scotland, 10 per cent or 3,138
beds, are occupied by people waiting for community care services to
secure their discharge. Delayed discharge is most acute in the NHS
catchment areas of Edinburgh, Argyll and Clyde and Ayrshire and

The £20 million package will result in “hit squads” being
brought in to ensure that each health and local authority
partnership spends the ring-fenced money solely on the problem of
delayed discharge. Chisholm said: “Action should not be motivated
merely by beds, budgets and statistics, but by the need to provide
person-centred solutions to the problem. This is not just an
exercise in reducing numbers, it must be about improving

Chisholm admitted that the £20 million package would not
resolve the problem, but claimed it should free 1,000 places. A
quarter of the funding will be released immediately, and local
authorities in partnership with NHS boards are required to submit
plans on service developments.






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