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Delayed discharge has cost local health board nearly £85 million

The cost to NHS Lothian of Shona Robison’s broken promise on delayed discharge has topped £84 million, the highest in Scotland, new figures today reveal.

On Wednesday February 25, 2015 SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison told the BBC Good Morning Scotland Programme that:

“I want over the course of this year to eradicate delayed discharge out of the system and I am absolutely determined to do that.”

But since Shona Robison’s promise, more than 363,964 bed days have been lost to delayed discharge taking the cost of that broken promise to our health service in the Lothians to £84,803,612.

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.

Labour said the figures underline SNP mismanagement of the health service, and pointed to £1.5 billion worth of cuts since 2011 to local authorities who provide care packages as a key reason for the problem.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Shona Robison’s failure to keep her promise on delayed discharge has cost our health service in the Lothians a staggering £85 million.

“That is money that could have been reinvested in our health service in East Lothian and elsewhere in the Lothians to improve patient care.

“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.

“The short sighted crisis management approach to our health service needs to change – starting with the Health Secretary. Shona Robison is out of her depth and out of time.”

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