Nearly 700 patients have died waiting on a delayed discharge waiting list since the SNP government pledged to abolish the practice.
In February 2015, SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison promised to eradicate delayed discharge from the NHS completely by the end of that year.
However, freedom of information requests from Scottish Labour reveal that at least 683 patients in Scotland died while waiting to be discharged from hospital from March 2015 until September 2016.
Figures are expected to be higher as some health boards were unable to reveal total figures as it may have identified the individual patients.
A delayed discharge is identified as a hospital inpatient judged clinically ready to leave hospital, who continues to occupy a bed beyond the ‘ready for discharge’ date. These patients are clinically ready to move on to a more appropriate care setting either within or outwith the NHS – such as the patient’s home or a care home.
Labour said the figures showed the need to invest in social care, as the failure of the SNP to invest in social care has increased the pressure on our hospitals.
[Text is from the Labour press team]