DELAYED discharge has cost more than £360 million since the Health Secretary vowed to abolish it three years ago, Labour has claimed.
Shona Robison said in February 2015 she wanted to “eradicate delayed discharge out of the system” in the course of the year, in an interview with the BBC.
Delayed discharge, also known as bed blocking, happens when a patient is medically fit to leave hospital but arrangements have not been put in place to enable them to go home, often due to lack of a social care package.
Labour said the cost to the NHS of Ms Robison not meeting her promise has been more than £360 million, as there have been 1,557,781 bed days occupied by delayed discharge since March 2015.
The estimated cost of £362,962,973 is based on the most recent official estimate of the average daily cost of delayed discharge, at £233.
Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “Despite the SNP Health Secretary’s promises, her failure to get a grip of delayed discharge has cost our health service more than £360million.
“That is a staggering figure that could have been reinvested in our NHS to deliver better patient care and staff support.
“Much of the delay in discharging patients is due to social care issues and delays in care assessments – the result of years of an SNP government slashing local authority budgets, with £1.5billion cut since 2011.”