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Safe and timely discharge supported by social and community care vital to preventing dangerous long stays, RCEM Scotland says

3 November 2021

Commenting on the recent reports of excessively long stays, Dr John Thomson, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:

“These long stays are absolutely unacceptable and inhumane. They present a very real threat to patient safety and can cause great distress and harm to patients as well as moral injury to staff. The Scottish Government and Health Boards must do all they can to reduce these appallingly long stays. System-wide, departments must promote flow through the hospital, move patients through the system, and discharge patients to prevent exit block.

“Social and community care must be adequately resourced to ensure patients discharged from hospital will receive the care and support they need in the community. Without this support, vulnerable patients may spend longer than necessary in hospital meaning other patients are unable to move through the system. Timely discharge is vital to reducing long stays.”

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