Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Shock over number of bed blocking deaths in Grampian

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Shock new figures have revealed that 16 people needlessly languishing in north-east hospitals died over a five week period.

A NHS Grampian spokeswoman said the patients who died between February 23 and March 29 this year were “predominantly elderly with significant underlying health issues”.

She added that an investigation was underway to establish the cause or causes of death and the board was now recording delayed discharges-related deaths on a weekly basis.

North-east Labour MSP Richard Baker described the news as “very worrying” given Health Secretary Shona Robison has claimed that tackling the issue was her top priority.

Bed blocking is caused by a shortage of care home places or care at home provision and the politician said NHS Grampian must examine whether delays had any impact on the deaths.

North-east Conservative MSP Nanette Milne,a former GP, said the news was “deeply concerning” and called for more concerted action.

The deaths occurred despite the government announcing in January that north and north-east health boards had been awarded £17million to help medical staff and local authorities deliver care at home.

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “We are establishing a process to review the circumstances of these individual patients to look carefully into the cause or causes of their death.

“These patients are predominantly elderly with significant underlying health issues.

“Facilitating prompt and effective discharge is a priority for our health and social care partnerships.”

The spokeswoman said the board recognised that the needs of people being discharged were becoming increasing complex and it was important to ensure that the appropriate community based support was in place.

Mr Baker said: “It is very worrying that 16 people have died while waiting to be discharged from hospital over five weeks.

“I accept that these patients were elderly and had difficult medical conditions but these figures need to come down.”

Mrs Milne said: “It is unacceptable that people are dying in hospital when they are ready for discharge and in many cases actively want to get home.”

Nearly 100 people died in Highland hospitals between 2012-14 because of a shortage of care home places or care at home provision.

A total of 859 people ready to leave hospitals across Scotland died over the period in question, including five in Shetland and four in Orkney.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the number of overall patients delayed for longer than four weeks had reduced by two thirds and £100million had been given to health boards across Scotland to tackle the issue.

“Health Secretary Shona Robison has reiterated to health boards that they must monitor the outcomes of all patients who have been delayed,” she added.

“NHS medical directors must review any cases where a patient has been deemed medically fit for discharge and subsequently dies before that discharge can take place.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal