Health board plans £4.5m emergency funding for care crisis

One of Scotland's largest councils has allocated a £4.5m emergency fund to tackle the '˜immediate pressure' caused by delayed discharge in hospital of those waiting to be assessed for a care package.
Health chiefs allocate 4.5 million to relieve care crisis pressure.Health chiefs allocate 4.5 million to relieve care crisis pressure.
Health chiefs allocate 4.5 million to relieve care crisis pressure.

Edinburgh council has reacted to a leaked email seen by the Scotsman last week, that revealed plans to send patients who are currently bed blocking, home from hospital without an appropriate care package in place.

The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board who are responsible for providing health and social care in the Capital have come under fire after admitting the city regularly has the highest number of delayed discharges in Scotland.

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They have pledged the one-off allocation to focus on reducing the backlog of assessments, care reviews, and delayed discharges. At present there are 1,913 people waiting for an assessment, of whom 1,100 had no involvement from health care professionals in the last year.

The Board are also considering a one-off spend on additional care home placements and plan to reduce the backlog over the next seven months.

Cllr Ricky Henderson, Chair of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board said: “The agreement, as well as the report on the wider improvement programme, paints a clear picture of where the service is right now and the immediate steps we need to take. For the Partnership to achieve long-term sustainability of health and social care services in the city, the immediate pressures from the backlog of demand, the service capacity limitations and the extreme pressures on acute services from people delayed in hospital must be addressed.”

Shadow Health Secretary Miles Briggs, said he was “very pleased” that the Integration Joint Board has acknowledge that something needs to be done.

He added: “I am however wary that the Partnership had proposed £3 million in cuts to Health and Social Care in their latest budget and I would welcome the assurance they do not plan to go ahead with these cuts.”

Scottish Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said: “Delayed discharge is a national problem that must be addressed.”