Delays in leaving hospital reduce

26 May 2015 11:40 AM

A&E weekly performance figures released.

The number of people delayed from leaving hospital has reduced over the past quarter, with figures now at the lowest level for almost two years, official figures released yesterday show.

The April census – a one day snap shot of hospital delays – shows that delays over three days have come down from 947 in October to 646 in April.

During the quarter January to March 2015 there was a 10 per cent reduction in the number of bed days occupied by patients delayed from leaving hospital compared to the previous quarter.

The figures come as A&E performance statistics for the week ending May 17, show that 92 per cent of patients were seen and treated within four hours at core A&E sites across Scotland.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said yesterday:

“I welcome today’s reduction in delays in patients leaving hospital, with figures now at the lowest level in almost two years and never lower under the previous administration. This shows we are moving in the right direction to tackle delayed discharge.

“I have been very clear that this is a key priority for this Government, NHS health boards and local authorities going forward. There is still much more to do to drive these figures down further. This is why we have committed £100 million over the next three years to address the issue.

“The first £30 million tranche of this funding for 2015/16 is now available for health and social care partnerships and we will continue to work closely with them in order to support the on-going reduction in delays.

“Under this Government delayed discharge has fallen significantly, with a substantial reduction in the number of patients waiting over three days to be discharged. It is promising to see that at the April census, 12 local authorities had no delays over two weeks and 11 were in single figures.

“Reducing delayed discharge is first and foremost good for the patient, who will benefit from being treated at home, or in a homely setting. But it also eases pressure across the system, in particular in A&E by freeing up beds.

"This is a whole system approach and today’s A&E performance figures show that performance is up almost six percentage points since weekly reporting began in March.

“While I do recognise that weekly performance will fluctuate, it is now crucial that, with on-going support from the Scottish Government, health boards sustain the improvement seen since the winter and make further strides towards achieving the world leading targets we have in place.

“To assist with this we recently allocated funding to health boards from our £50 million Unscheduled Care Fund, and earlier this month launched a six point plan to improve emergency unscheduled care.

“There is still much work to do on both A&E performance and delayed discharge. However, we have put record funding and staffing in place and through the integration of health and social care we are committed to tackling these issues further. That means we have the strong foundations in place to ensure our NHS continues to deliver, quick, high quality care for the people of Scotland.”

Notes To Editors

A&E waiting times figures

The publication of weekly A&E waiting time statistics for the week ending May 17, covers the 32 emergency departments in Scotland which provide a 24 hour emergency medicine consultant led service.

The statistics relate to patients who were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4, 8 and 12 hours.

The latest Weekly Statistical Publication is available at:

The statistics included in the Weekly Publication are also published on ISD’s NHS Performs website:

For the same week, Type 1 (Core) A&E sites in England saw and treated 91.3 per cent of patients within four hours.

Delayed discharge figures

The statistical publication, ‘Delayed Discharges in NHS Scotland – Occupied Bed Days – Jan to Mar 2015/ April 2015 Census’ is available on the ISD website:

From June 2015 delayed discharge statistics will move to monthly publication starting with figures for April 2015 and census data from May 2015.

Comparison of patients delayed over two weeks: