JUST shy of 100 people per day are stuck in hospital in Fife when they're well enough to go home, new figures show. 

Public Health Scotland said there were 2,912 delayed discharges – where a patient is ready to leave but still occupying a bed – in the Kingdom at the end of August, up from 2,851 the previous month.

Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has expressed his concerns at the data which he said has worsened in recent months.

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“I am very concerned at the latest figures from Public Health Scotland which show that the scandal of delayed discharge is continuing to engulf NHS Fife – more than seven years after then SNP health secretary Shona Robison vowed to get rid of it in Scottish hospitals," he said.

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Mr Fraser said the "failure to get to grips" with the situation was a "damning indictment" of the SNP government.

"The resulting costs to NHS Fife are massive, at a time when the health board are already under major financial strain," he continued.

“There are major knock-on effects of patients suffering delayed discharge, including increased Accident and Emergency waiting times and more crucial operations being cancelled for patients in Fife.

"These latest disappointing figures spell out the reality of how delayed discharge is crippling resources in NHS Fife’s social care systems and they should be a source of shame for SNP ministers.

“Delayed bed discharges also have a negative impact on patients’ mental health as well as their physical health. 

“The problems stem from a shortage of care-home packages or care-at-home packages being available in NHS Fife and my concern is that these problems will only get worse with the SNP’s plans to spend £1.3 billion on a centralised National Care Service, which will take resources away from local health services in Fife.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said they were "working hard" with health boards and health and social care partnerships to create the necessary capacity to deal with emerging pressures through the Delayed Discharge and Hospital Occupancy Action Plan.

They added: "This will help ensure patients are assessed and discharged with the appropriate care package as quickly as possible.”

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership's Lynne Garvey said delayed discharges can be caused by a range of factors and numbers can fluctuate.

"Figures quoted can also include both Fife residents waiting in hospitals locally and those being cared for in other health board areas," she explained.

“A person may have complex needs and require a package of care involving multiple services, while others may experience delays linked to guardianship processes, for example.

"That does not mean that we are accepting of anyone being delayed in leaving hospital and we are continually working to reduce delays."

Ms Garvey said discharge planning now begins at the point of admission, with the aim of putting the appropriate ongoing care in place well ahead of the individual's date of discharge from hospital.

“We have also recently launched our Home First strategy with the aim of delivering what is needed in our communities to enable people to live longer, healthier lives at home or a homely setting," she added.

"The actions we have already taken are showing results, with a sustained reduction in standard delays since November 2022, enabling us to support the increased demand on health and care services

"People waiting on packages of care who are in Fife hospitals are discharged on the day they become medically fit or for more complex cases, within 48 hours.

“Fife is also performing consistently better than the Scottish average and has done for many months."