Bed-blocking in Scottish hospitals has increased in the past three
months despite previous targets being met.
The increase has been blamed on the use of short-term measures to
reach April’s targets.
The number of patients waiting to be discharged from hospital rose
by more than 8 per cent between April and July 2003. Previous
figures had shown that NHS and local authority partnerships had
exceeded targets, with the number of patients waiting more than six
weeks down a third since July 2002.
Deputy health minister Tom McCabe said that NHS and councils must
do more to ensure that targets for delayed discharge were met and
that the latest figures were a warning against complacency.
“Solutions for reducing delayed discharge must not be quick fixes,
but sustainable long term solutions that will mean an end to too
many older people waiting in inappropriate hospital settings.”