Nearly 8,000 hospital bed days were lost in Edinburgh in September as a result of a growing delayed discharge crisis.
The capital had by far the largest number of patients stuck in hospital, new official figures have revealed.
In Edinburgh, the September census reveals there were 252 cases of delayed discharge – compared to 115 in the Highlands, 106 in South Lanarkshire, 103 in North Lanarkshire and just 100 in Glasgow.
The majority of delays happened because patients were medically cleared to leave hospital but could not do so because care arrangements were not in place.
As a result, because patients were trapped for days on end, there were 7,773 lost hospital bed days in Edinburgh – an increase on the previous month from 7,616.
In 2015, then-Health Secretary Shona Robison pledged to ensure that delayed discharge would be ‘eradicated’ out of the system by the end of the year.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP for Edinburgh and the Lothians, said:
“Delayed discharge has not been eradicated – it has reached crisis point in Edinburgh.
“This is because there has not been enough investment by the SNP government in social care, which then piles pressure on hospitals such as the ERI.
“Delayed discharge is deeply upsetting for the patients trapped in hospital, their families, and the dedicated staff who are put under unnecessary pressure.
“When Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announces his budget next month, it’s clear that NHS Lothian and Edinburgh City Council must be prioritised ahead of other parts of Scotland and given a major cash injection.”



Delayed Discharges in NHS Scotland

ISD Summary: Figures for September 2018

• In September 2018, 45,470 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed. This is an increase of 8% compared with 42,110 days in September 2017.
• In September 2018, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,516. In August, the daily average was 1,409
• At the September 2018 census point, there were 1,529 people delayed. This is an increase of 9% compared with 1,397 delayed at the census point in September 2017.
• Of those delayed at the September 2018 census point, 1,277 were delayed more than three days. The most common reason for delays over three days was health and social care reasons (77%, 989), followed by complex needs (19%, 247), then patient and family-related reasons (3%, 41). [Due to rounding the percentages do not add up to 100%].
• Of the 1,529 people delayed at the September 2018 census point, 1,230 (80.4%) were delayed for health and social care reasons. This is a 7.1% (1,148) increase on the previous month and a 17.3% (1,049) increase on the same month in 2017.

Local data available at:

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