Health boards get extra funding to reduce patient time in hospitals

NHS hospital Image copyright SPL

An extra £5m is to be invested in seven health boards across Scotland to reduce the amount of time patients remain in hospital.

The Scottish government estimates £100m a year is wasted on acute services when social and community care would be more appropriate.

About 1,000 people are stuck in hospital because they need additional care which is not yet in place.

The funding is to improve patient flow in health and social care services.

It will be targeted in Lothian, Grampian, Fife, Lanarkshire, Highland, Forth Valley and Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board areas.

It is designed to help people stay in their own homes, return home from hospital quicker and reduce the time people from accident and emergency wait for an appropriate bed to become available.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "We've already legislated for health and social care integration to come into effect from April next year, but I am clear that we must make further progress now.

"This investment will help improve the journey of many patients through hospital and back home, supported by appropriate care services, so they can leave hospital as soon as they are able."

He added; "Improving flow through hospitals not only benefits the individual patient, but also helps improve the performance in frontline services like A&E and planned operations."

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