A new dedicated discharge hub in Fife is helping to reduce delays for patients waiting in hospital to go home.
The unit at Victoria Hospital, which has been put in place through the Scottish Government’s £50 million emergency care action plan, is helping the hospital to cope with increased demand over the winter period.
The team, set up in August, is working with wards throughout the hospital to ensure patients have the support they need to return home.
It has seen 80 per cent of patients discharged within one week of being referred.
Visiting the unit last week Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “NHS boards have to be ready to manage potential increases in demand over the winter period and last year we saw increased pressures on our hospitals in the peak of winter. The discharge hub in Fife is a fantastic example of how health boards have made real changes that are benefitting patients.
“This approach is reaping benefits for patients in reducing the amount of time they have to wait in hospital before being discharged, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with one of the patients who was about to return home from hospital.”
Dr Gordon Birnie, from NHS Fife, said: “The creation of the discharge hub has meant that the co-ordination of each discharge is planned from a single site, combining the collective experience of the acute and community health service with that of our colleagues in social care.
“This has proven to be highly effective in improving patient flow, benefitting patients across the whole hospital system. Patients can be discharged at the most appropriate time with the support they require.’’