First Minister delayed discharge claim: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

On 9 January 2023, the First Minister said in a speech that ‘we have seen a slight reduction in delayed discharges in the most recent weeks. I would like to ask for the data the FM used to support this claim, as well as a source.


In the statement of 9 January 2023 the First Minister noted that there had been a slight reduction in delayed discharges in the most recent weeks, there are, however, more than 1,700 people currently in hospital who don’t need to be there.

The figure of 1,700 referenced in that statement is derived from unpublished management information provided from local authorities, directly to Scottish Government each day, to aid monitoring of the interim operational situation.

This is a different data source to the monthly National Statistics published by Public Health Scotland. The daily management information is not subject to revisions or verification and is therefore not comparable to monthly National Statistics published by Public Health Scotland which undergo further quality assurance. The published National Statistics can be found at:

On 30 January 2023 the Scottish Government published details of the Management information and statistics used to support the First Ministers statement on in the Pressures facing the NHS: support statements management information available at: nhs-support-statements-management-information/. This report states that "In recent weeks the management information indicates a fall from 1,845 on 24/11/2022 to 1,761 on 05/01/2023". It also includes information on the source of the Management Information and a chart comparing that data with the official published statistics.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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