Figures out today from the Scottish Executive's Information and Statistics Division (ISD Scotland) show NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has succeeded in not only meeting but exceeding the target for reducing the number of patients whose discharges from hospital are delayed.
Since April 2005, the number of patients within the Greater Glasgow area who have waited more than six weeks for discharge from hospital has fallen from 104 to 73. This equates to a drop of 30% against the target set by the Scottish Executive of 20%.
Anne Harkness, Director of Rehabilitation and Assessment said: "This is great news. It's thanks to a great deal of work put in by our staff and by our local authority partners. We've all been working very closely together to make sure patients are discharged from hospital as soon as possible.
"The drop in the number of delayed discharges reflects both additional investment of £5m over recent years and the sheer hard work put into a wide range of initiatives in both health and social care "
Within the Glasgow City Council area, one major project that has proved successful in reducing delayed discharges is the formation of Integrated Hospital Discharge Teams. These teams see healthcare and social work staff working in a single team to ensure that people are discharged from hospital safely and quickly. In other local authority areas, improved locality-based discharge arrangements operate on the same principle of close co-operation between health and social work staff.
Other initiatives include the further expansion of supported discharge services. These provide extra nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy support to people in their own homes after they have been discharged from hospital.
Local authorities have allocated additional resources to care packages for patients needing help in their own homes or a nursing or residential care home place. Resources have also been directed to providing better information and support for carers on options for patients who are leaving hospital to go into the care of community-based services.
Anne Harkness, Director of Rehabilitation and Assessment added: "More than anything, this is a tribute to the hard work of all the staff involved and we are very grateful to them. We are all very aware that in real terms this means that more people, often elderly, are now being cared for in a more appropriate way rather than remaining in hospital and that we still have more work to continue to improve "
·For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.Please note these figures relate to the Greater Glasgow area and do not include the Clyde area of the new NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.