Delayed Discharge

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 28 April 2022.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

Delayed discharge is increasing. The number of people who are dying while waiting to be discharged is also increasing—almost 400 people died in the last year alone. Those statistics represent loved ones who died while unable to get the care package that they needed. The SNP promised more than seven years ago to end delayed discharge but, three health ministers later, they have simply failed to do so. I am sure that we will hear a list of initiatives from the First Minister but, despite them, delayed discharge has gone up by 57 per cent; they are clearly not working. Does the First Minister agree that this is a scandal and that it is the human cost of the SNP’s failure to take effective action?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Jackie Baillie says that we are three health ministers later, but she omits to mention that we are a global pandemic later. That has impacted on such issues in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and probably in every country in the world.

Delayed discharge is unacceptable, which is why Jackie Baillie is right to say that I will talk about the actions that we are taking, because they are important. We have spent £62 million to enhance care at home, £48 million to increase the pay of those who work in the social care sector, £40 million to support interim care arrangements and £20 million to enhance multidisciplinary teams. Two new programmes—the interface care programme and the discharge without delay programme—have been launched and are supported by a further £10 million.

We will continue to take action and make investments to get delayed discharge down in our national health service as we recover across society from the impact of the global pandemic.