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Scottish care leaders warn of discharge bed capacity constraints

Extra funding to health and social care partnerships has been announced by the Scottish Government to support earlier discharge.

In a speech to the Scottish parliament First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that hospital bed occupancy across Scotland had exceeded 95 per cent, reflecting winter pressure, more complex patients and delays in discharge.

In her presentation, she estimated that around 4 per cent of patients were not being discharged in a timely manner.  

In an article Scottish Care chief executive Donald Macaskill warned that such initiatives put an already stretched care home sector under more pressure from workforce shortages. He said: “The single continual challenge facing social care both in residential and nursing care home provision and in the community is one of workforce.

“At their best care homes have become such places where if adequately resourced and staffed an individual can live a much better quality of life than they could ever achieve in a hospital.

“However, these are not simply winter pressures but a crisis for all seasons.”

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