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£42 million cost of delayed discharge

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By Fiona Reid
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£42 million cost of delayed discharge

DELAYED discharge from hospital has cost the region £42,303,640 in the last nine years.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has today revealed the eye-watering sum and pointed out that 155,156 bed days have also been lost in Dumfries and Galloway in that time.

Delayed discharge is when a patient is medically cleared to go home but cannot leave hospital, often because a social care package is not in place or there is a lack of places in care homes or sheltered housing.

Medical professionals and the BMA have repeatedly said that the crisis in the NHS will not be ended without tackling delayed discharge.

And Colin Smyth has demanded action to tackle the issue once and for all.

He said: “Make no mistake – this is a disaster over a decade in the making, with successive Health Secretaries – including Humza Yousaf – completely unable to tackle delayed discharge.

“I have repeatedly raised this issue since I was elected but the situation is getting worse and worse.

“Medical professionals are clear that the failure to tackle delayed discharge is crippling our NHS and putting lives at risk.

“Services in Dumfries and Galloway are at breaking point but a staggering £42,303,640 has gone down the drain.

“We cannot have patients left in hospital unnecessarily and the public purse drained due to poor provision of care for those leaving hospital.”

He called for long term investment, tackling low levels of sheltered housing and stopping the loss of any more care homes locally.

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