A further £100 million over three years is to be invested in the NHS to help reduce the numbers of people waiting to be discharged from hospital.
This funding will be used to support health boards and local authorities deliver good quality care and support for people at home or in a homely setting. This is aimed at preventing delays in discharge and preventing admissions to hospital and attendances at A&E.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Tackling delayed discharge is an absolute key priority for this government and today’s announcement of £100 million over the next three years is crucial to this effort.
“Reducing delayed discharge not only helps individual patients, who benefit from getting home or to a homely setting as quickly as possible, but also helps ease pressure across the system.
“However, this is about far more than just investment, it forms part of the Government’s overarching commitment to implementing the integration of health and social care services across Scotland.
“This will involve health boards working closer than ever with local government in a new relationship to deliver the right care to people in the right place at the right time.
“It will also include a shared commitment to deliver on key issues, such as discharging patients within 72 hours of clinical readiness, and reducing the number of hospital admissions that are avoidable."
A taskforce has been set up with COSLA to roll out plans to support delayed discharge improvement.
Councillor Peter Johnston, COSLA’s Health and Well-being Spokesperson, said: “This is a timely investment from the Scottish Government – amidst a challenging operating environment for councils and health boards. The new Health and Social Care Partnerships will be forming in April and this resource will act as a real catalyst in making inroads into delayed discharge. Last November, council leaders took the landmark decision to focus on transferring people from hospital within 72 hours of their discharge date. Although a challenging aspiration, this resource will be crucial in helping partnerships to redesign services and create an even greater focus on supporting people to live independently at home.
“We will be taking a report to Council Leaders at the end of this month which will describe the investment in more detail. This new resource underpins a shared commitment between the Scottish Government and COSLA to improve performance, deliver on agreed objectives, and work with trust and reciprocity.”