Social work faces NHS `stock-take`

An urgent `stocktaking` of delayed discharges in Scotland has
been ordered by Susan Deacon, health minister, in spite of the
latest statistical report showing a steady decrease.

Overall, the April 2001 census of patients ready for discharge
shows the number of patients waiting to be discharged has fallen by
4.5 per cent compared with the previous year. Deacon is pleased
with the progress, attributing the improvement to heavy government
investment and innovative services such as rapid response

Deacon said: “Powerful new alliances between the NHS and local
authorities have been forged – both locally and

In spite of the progress, Deacon remains unconvinced that more
cannot be achieved. She said: “That is why I have now asked Trevor
Jones, chief executive of NHS Scotland, to take personal charge of
an urgent stock-take of the work done to date, and to bring forward
recommendations directly to me by the end of the summer on what
more needs to be done nationally and locally to accelerate

Jones will review the situation in local authority social work
departments as well as the NHS. His stock-take will include
listening to views from the “coal face”.

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