Delayed discharges have hit another post-pandemic high, with patients spending a total of 46,171 unnecessary days in Scottish hospitals in August.
An average of 1489 beds were occupied each day by patients medically cleared to leave hospital, but who had not been discharged.
It is an increase of 9% from July and the highest level of delayed discharge since February 2020.
Almost two thirds (65%) of the 46,171 days where beds were occupied despite the patient being cleared to leave involved a person over the age of 75, according to the latest Public Health Scotland figures.
On the last Thursday of August – used as a census point to compare monthly statistics – there were 1179 people delayed more than three days.
Of those, health and social care reasons caused 780 of the delays (66%), patients’ complex needs accounted for 360 delays (31%) and patient and family-related reasons were responsible for 39 delays (3%).
The number of delayed discharges plummeted at the start of the pandemic, dropping from 1452 to 676 between March 2020 and April 2020.
But since April 2020, delayed discharges increased in all but four months, with the latest increase being the fourth successive rise.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the most days where beds were occupied by delayed discharge cases with 9479, followed by NHS Lothian with 7495 and Lanarkshire with 5034.
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