Delayed discharges in Scottish hospitals fall slightly, remaining below pre-pandemic levels
Delayed discharges from Scottish hospitals dropped slightly in February, remaining below pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest figures.
In February 2021, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,088, statistics from Public Health Scotland (PHS) said.
Delayed discharge, also known as bed blocking, happens when patients are clinically well enough to leave hospital but are unable to be discharged, for reasons such as waiting for a care home place.
In February, there were 30,450 days spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed – a decrease of 35% compared with the same point last year.
A PHS report released on Tuesday said: “In February 2021, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,088.
“This is a decrease of 4% compared to January 2021 when the daily average was 1,135, and lower than the monthly average prior to Covid-19 measures being put in place.”
Of those whose discharged was delayed in February 2021, a total of 753 patients were delayed for more than three days.
Health and social care reasons accounted for the majority of delays at 65% of these cases.
Patients having complex needs accounted for 41% and family-related reasons accounted for 3%.
Delayed discharges fell sharply in the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic as hospitals moved patients out to increase capacity.
Bed blocking figures rose steadily in the latter half of 2020 before levelling out in early 2021.
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