Scots to use joint working not fines

Measures to tackle bed-blocking in Scotland’s hospitals were
announced at a conference on delayed discharge last week.

Malcolm Chisholm, health minister in the Scottish executive,
launched a learning network and information bank at a joint
Association of Directors of Social Work and NHS conference.

The network will provide a forum for senior staff in health,
housing and social services to learn about initiatives that have
been effective in tackling bed-blocking. The information bank will
hold examples of patient care and treatment that have helped reduce
delays in discharge.

Chisholm said: “It is unacceptable that thousands of people,
particularly older people, are being let down and end up
languishing in hospital longer than absolutely necessary.

“Partnerships now need to systematically share information about
delayed discharges in a way that has not happened before.”

Social work spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities Ronnie McColl told Community Care he was glad
Scotland had not gone down the same road as England and Wales of
introducing fines for blocked beds.

“Such an approach is counter-productive,” McColl said. “What
happens is the NHS and councils all start bickering with each other
and nothing gets resolved. The approach being promoted by the
executive is a far more promising way forward.”

Meanwhile, Alison King, chairperson of the Local Government
Association’s social services and health executive, was due to
condemn the government’s plans to fine English and Welsh councils
for delayed discharges of older people at the National Social
Services Conference in Cardiff this week.

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