Brankin: reducing delayed discharge in Scotland is key priority

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Rhona Brankin

New deputy minister for health and community care Rhona Brankin
has singled out reducing the delayed discharge of older people from
hospital as one of her key priorities,
Derren Hayes in

Making the keynote speech at Community Care Live Scotland this
morning, Brankin, who was appointed only four weeks ago, said it
was “unacceptable” for people to languish in hospital for long
periods of time.

“Hospital is not a home. It is unacceptable to have any patients
delayed in hospital for over a year, but it is often those with the
most complex needs that experience the lengthiest delays”, she

Brankin added that people delayed for six weeks in hospital had
reduced since 2002, but that the executives Joint Improvement Team
would look at how it could be reduced further. One issue it will
almost certainly look at is how community services can be developed
to prevent older and vulnerable people being admitted to hospital
in the first place.

“We need to move away from frequently admitting people to
hospital and look at more preventative measures. What older people
say to me is they want to stay living in their communities and
their families want to play their role in caring for relatives, but
we need to get the resources in place to help deliver this”, she

The deputy minister also said that the cost of where a person
wished to be discharged to – whether it be a care home,
intermediate care or supported living at home – would not be the
main factor in the decision.


The needs and wishes of the person must always be the

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