Galloway’s health service claims it is working hard to unblock beds in hospitals occupied by mainly elderly people unable to return home because a care package isn’t in place.
This was the response to a hail of criticism from local politicians with regional Labour MSP Colin Smyth claiming that these “delayed discharges” are costing Dumfries and Galloway NHS up to £350,000 a month.
An NHS spokesman responded: “We are acutely aware of the impact that delays can have on people receiving the right support in the right place at the right time.
“It is important to note that being ready to leave hospital is not the end of everyone’s journey, and many face ongoing needs which must be met at cottage hospitals, care homes or by care at home services.
“Some delays are caused by legal processes, adaptations to housing, and disagreements within families about what is best for relatives. The Health and Social Care Partnership are working very hard together to try and address the more immediate problems.“
Conservative MSP Finlay Carson MSP commented: “Delayed discharge continues to be a serious concern across NHS Dumfries and Galloway and our rural communities.
“This only puts more pressure on our healthcare staff on the front line, having to deal with lost bed days for patients who require care.
“With stakeholders from the SNP Government, to local health service and local elected members, working together I believe that delayed discharge can be reduced.”