Nature,  POKER

The true cost of bed days across Scotland

Delayed hospital discharge is a significant challenge across the whole of the UK. Looking at Scotland specifically, recent reports from Scottish Labour have confirmed that the cost of delayed discharge in Scottish hospitals has risen to more than £1.2 billion over the last decade.

Data from Scottish health boards revealed there was an average of 650,000 bed days associated with delayed discharge in 2023. With some health boards seeing over 100% increase in bed days from 2022 – 2023. 

A bed day represents more than just a duration of time in a hospital bed; it involves a complex interplay of resources and services dedicated to patient care, even when they are medically fit for discharge.

Prolonged occupancy of hospital beds exacerbates the strain on hospitals, leading to a ripple effect across the system. With bed shortages resulting in the cancellation of elective procedures, delayed admissions for new patients, and increased pressure on emergency departments, patient flow can become grid locked. These bottlenecks not only impede the timely delivery of care but also escalate operational costs as hospitals scramble to cope with the influx of patients amidst limited resources and capacity.

In light of these complexities, it is evident that the cost of bed days represents a multifaceted challenge for the NHS in Scotland. A collaborative approach to tackling this issue is needed.

As part of winter planning, strategies aimed at reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, improving discharge planning, and enhancing community-based care services are paramount. By embracing a collaborative approach that spans across NHS, local authorities, community providers and private sector, we can find solutions that ease the burden of bed days while enhancing the quality, accessibility, and sustainability of care.

Drawing upon our 25 years of knowledge and expertise in hospital discharge, we have crafted a flexible and comprehensive approach to address the challenges that winter presents. Whether it’s the safe and efficient discharge of patients or providing support for individuals in the community, we are dedicated to enhancing discharge processes that cater specifically to your needs.

We are quick to mobilise and have proven delivery, with an average of 24-hour discharge time.