A north MSP says it is “critical” that the Scottish Government provides health boards with the proper resources to stop bed blocking in the Highlands.
Stornoway-born Lewis Macdonald also maintains there must be better packages to attract home care staff.
In the NHS Highlands area, 58 of the 117 patients ready to be discharged are waiting for home care packages. Across Scotland, the figure is 433.
Two elderly patients at the Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban have been waiting for weeks to go home.
Tommy Wood, 70, and Neil MacLeure, 77, both received home care from the provider, Mears Group.
Mr Wood said: “The doctor told me I could go home but there is no care package for me. I think Mears just don’t have the staff.”
Mr MacLeure added: “I keep getting told I can go home tomorrow, but it never happens. I understand there’s not enough carers.”
A spokeswoman for the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Recruitment and retention of all staff in the health and social care field is very challenging, but there is a significant amount of service delivered in the local area. The care at home service is a priority for us.”
A spokeswoman for the Mears Group said: “We are following the agreed standard procedure that, after being admitted to hospital for three weeks, the service user will have to be re-assessed by social services as their condition may have changed. We have contacted social services to undertake re-assessment. We are awaiting their response and all being well, we look forward to recommencing their care package.”
Mr Macdonald added: “This issue occurs in hospitals across Scotland and patients must have somewhere to go when they leave. It’s critical that the proper resources are provided as well as more attractive packages for staff.”
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We are continuing to make progress and the number of bed days lost to all delays are 11% lower than January this year. The number of people delayed over three days due to delays in health and social care also fell by 14% between January and June of this year.
“The recently announced extra £9million to improve patient flow through hospitals will help us continue to reduce delays even further and we are investing further in social care to eradicate this issue.
“This year, almost half a billion pounds of additional investment will go into social care and integration while the health revenue budget will increase by almost £2billion by 2021.”