About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides a monthly update on the number of hospital bed days associated with delayed discharges and the number of discharges from hospital that followed a period of delay. Information is also provided on the number of people experiencing a delay in discharge from hospital at the monthly census point. The data relate to people aged 18 years and over who were clinically ready for discharge.
- In June 2021, there were 37,136 days spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed. This is an increase of 57% compared with the number of delayed days in June 2020 (23,729) but lower than figures prior to COVID-19 measures being put in place.
- In June 2021, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,238. This is an increase of 9% compared to May 2021 when the daily average was 1,140, but lower than the monthly average prior to COVID-19 measures being put in place.
- At the June 2021 census point, there were 1,276 people delayed. This is an increase of 11% compared to May 2021 (1,145) and an increase of 58% compared to June 2020 (808).
- Of those delayed at the June 2021 census point, 996 were delayed more than three days, with health and social care reasons accounting for 607 delays (61%), complex needs accounting for 360 delays (36%) and patient and family-related reasons for 29 delays (3%).
Timely discharge from hospital is an important indicator of quality and is a marker for person-centred, effective, integrated and harm-free care. A delayed discharge occurs when a hospital patient who is clinically ready for discharge from inpatient hospital care continues to occupy a hospital bed beyond the date they are ready for discharge.
The average number of beds occupied per day is calculated by dividing the total monthly number of delayed discharge bed days by the number of days in the calendar month. PHS considers this daily average a better statistic for comparing month on month differences as the number of days in a month varies. The percentage change is based on rounded figures.
Delayed discharge figures in NHSScotland have been affected by measures put in place to respond to COVID-19. The marked fall in delayed discharges is likely to be due to patients being moved out of hospital to increase capacity.
The census figure reflects the position as at the last Thursday of the month.
It should be noted that figures presented in this publication are not directly comparable with other UK countries, due to differences in definitions and data reporting.
Data from this publication are also available to download from the Scottish Health and Social Care Open Data platform (external website).
For further information on delayed discharges see the delayed discharge section of our website. For related topics, please see the health and social community care (external website) pages.
A selection of information from this publication is included in NHS Performs.
The next release of this publication will be 7 September 2021.
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