Moray hospitals are to receive an additional £1.6million investment over the next three years as part of a £100million Scottish Government boost to the NHS.
The funding was announced by Health Secretary Shona Robison in the wake of a crisis at NHS Grampian when hospitals had 380 cases of people waiting over two weeks to be discharged between January and October last year.
NHS Grampian will receive an additional £9.1million investment under the new package announced on Tuesday – however, Ms Robison was later rapped by the Presiding Officer at the Parliament for announcing the package to the press before releasing details of the ‘bed blocking’ cash to Holyrood.
Ms Robison said that the additional funding would help ensure patients benefited from getting home from after hospital treatment as quickly as possible, with new integrated health and social care services throughout the country ensuring that the “right care was delivered to people at the right place and at the right time”.
She said: “It will also include a shared commitment to deliver on key issues, such as discharging patients within 72 hours of clinical readiness and reducing the number of hospital admissions that are available.”
The additional funding was welcomed last night by Moray Labour, with Councillor Sean Morton saying: “There is no doubt that patients and families will be pleased that the Scottish Government has eventually decided to put money into letting patients home and unblocking beds – so I welcome today’s announcement.
“It’s worth pointing out though that the SNP have had this money since November. Throughout the A&E crisis over Christmas they knew that one of unblocking beds in hospitals could ease problems.
“I don’t understand why they didn’t come forward with money until their hands were forced.”
However, the MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, said that tackling delayed discharges was a key priority for the NHS and the additional funding would help meet that.
Mr Stevenson said: “This announcement from the Scottish Government will be welcomed by patients and NHS staff in Aberdeenshire and Moray – and is another demonstration of the SNP’s commitment to our health service paying dividends.
“Tackling delayed discharges is a key priority for the NHS – helping not only the individual patients affected who will be able to receive care at home or in a homely setting, but also easing pressure on the system as a whole.
“Today’s funding announcement is a welcome step in ensuring we can tackle this issue and provide the best possible care.
“The SNP’s record on the NHS is second to none – delivering real results on waiting times and staff numbers, introducing free prescriptions for all and now taking serious action to tackle the problem of delayed discharge.”