Delayed discharge performance

Statistical recording improved

Scotland is leading the way in developing the most accurate information on delayed discharge from hospital, Health Secretary Shona Robison has said.

Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland have made changes to the way patients who are delayed leaving hospital are recorded to ensure the statistics give the clearest picture possible.

This is the third refresh of delayed discharge statistical recording in Scotland, having been previously updated in May 2006 and May 2012.

Ms Robison said:

“We’re determined to tackle delayed discharge and that’s why we’re investing over £100 million over three years to accelerate improvements.

“To ensure that we have consistent information on delayed discharge across the country we’ve been working improve the consistency of how the statistics are collected and recorded – providing a solid evidence base from which the NHS and integration partnerships can focus their efforts.

“Our efforts to accurately record and address delayed discharge stands in stark contrast to the position in England, where there have been recent reports of both delayed discharge rates rising rapidly and concerns about the accuracy of the data.

“We’ve made progress over the last 18 months in reducing the number of people delayed in hospital. And while levels of delayed discharge consistently peak in the summer, we are seeing a much improved position this year compared to last - with continuing reductions in the number of bed days lost.”

Notes to editors

The latest delayed discharge publication can be viewed on the ISD Scotland website:

More information on the classification changes can be viewed in the publication summary.

The main changes are:

  • Statistics now include people discharged within three days of the monthly census.
  • Correction of the previous situation where a small number of patients in non-hospital settings, such as a care home or a specialist intermediate care facility, were counted as delays despite being in an appropriate setting.

At the July census, 1,396 patients were delayed. People discharged within three days of the monthly census – a one day snapshot from the last Thursday of every month – will now be reflected in the statistics, where previously they had been excluded.

In July 2016, 43,919 hospital bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharge, compared to 47,797 in July 2015. A small number of patients in step-down care home beds that have been removed as part of the classification changes.


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