Patients in Glasgow spent nearly 70,000 days in hospital unnecessarily last year due to delayed discharge, new figures show.

Those under the care of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) were kept as in-patients on 67,821 occasions in 2018/19 according to statistics released by the Scottish Government.

Of those who were kept in by health professionals, less than 30 per cent were deemed to be outwith the control of health and social care staff.

Of the other 70 per cent, issues identified to have held up discharges include a lack of care arrangement, funding or transport problems, or a lack of assessment having been carried out.

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Across the health board area, the estimated cost for delayed discharge was nearly £17million last year, calculated as a proportion of the total cost in Scotland.

Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Labour MSP, said: “It is unacceptable that patients in Glasgow are being so badly failed by the SNP Government.

“In the most extreme cases, patients who should have been discharged from hospital are dying while waiting for social care they never received.

“Delayed discharge is costing the NHS in Glasgow millions of pounds, despite a promise from the SNP that it would be eradicated.

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“Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has lost the trust of Scottish people and is making the problems with our social care system worse, rather than improving them.”

A spokesman for NHS GGC said: "Our staff work hard to ensure patients in our hospitals are discharged as soon as they are medically fit to leave and our percentage of delayed discharges is the second lowest in Scotland.

"Work with our local authority partners on a range of successful initiatives has made significant improvements on delayed discharge numbers over the last few years.

"Where a person’s discharge from hospital is delayed our staff strive to provide the highest standards of care while they remain with us.

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"A number of these patients will be waiting for a suitable care package in the community or are very frail people waiting to go home or go to a care setting in their final days."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Progress has been made in reducing delays in discharge in recent years, with an overall reduction of 2% in the number of bed days lost since 2016/17. We are working with our partners in local government, the NHS, and in integration authorities to improve performance and reduce delays.

“It is vital that local health and social care partnerships keep developing a range of community based services which allow people to stay in their homes. We continue to invest in social care and integration, and this year our package of investment to support these services will exceed £700 million - up from £550 million in 2018/19.”