All patients in Scotland left hospital within six weeks in April, meaning there were officially no cases of ‘bed blocking’, according to health service statistics.
Although the discharge of 468 patients was in fact delayed, none had to wait more than the six weeks, the target period. It was only the second time that this has been achieved.
Delayed discharge arises when usually elderly patients are ready to leave after treatment but cannot do so, often because there are no care home places.
According to health service statistics, 2,162 hospital patients were forced to wait longer than six weeks to be discharged in October 2001.