New ministerset to tackle bed-blocking

Scotland’s 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.

Making the keynote speech at Community Care LIVE Scotland, 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 more than a year, but it is often those
with the most complex needs that experience the lengthiest delays,”
she said.

Brankin added that the number of people delayed for six weeks in
hospital had been reduced since 2002, but that the executive would
look at further reductions.

She said: “We need to move away from frequently admitting people to
hospital. What older people say to me is they want to stay 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.”

Brankin also said that the needs and wishes of the person, not
cost, should be the main factor in deciding where people wanted to
be discharged to.

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