447 day wait to be discharged from Fife hospital

Pic: FFP
Pic: FFP

A patient waited 447 days to be discharged from a hospital in Fife because of the lack of available support.

A freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed patients across Scotland who had been stuck in hospital on delayed discharge, with some waiting months after they were given the all clear to leave.

‘Health and social care’ was the reason given for the delays, meaning patients were waiting on a care home place, support to enable them to return to their own home or for a needs assessment to be conducted.

Scottish Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton described the situation as ‘miserable’.

He added: “Medical staff have declared these people ready to leave hospital but the community-based support they need to move on doesn’t exist. These are factors within this government’s control. Indeed, the SNP government promised to eradicate delayed discharges from the system by 2016.

“It’s time to end the social care scandal. Staff are working tirelessly but there just aren’t enough of them to go around. The SNP’s new workforce plan, published a whole year late, must now make demonstratable progress.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said it was spending £700m this year to support social care and integration.

He added progress has been made in reducing delays, however, further work is needed with partners to address where delays have increased to improve performance.