Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, is calling on the Scottish Government to step up its response to the crisis of bed blocking in the NHS.

New figures show in April this year 173 patients ready to leave hospital had been kept in for more than the four week target, compared to just 44 patients in April 2013. 72 were waiting for a place in a care home.

Last week Alison Johnstone raised the issue of care of older patients in parliament with Health Secretary Alex Neil.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“These figures confirm what I said last week – there is clearly a crisis in the care situation with older patients stuck in hospital, and I’m aware of some distressing and frustrating situations in Lothian region affecting elderly people and their families.

“The Scottish Government is placing confidence in investment being carried out by the NHS but today’s figures suggest action must be stepped up. We must ensure adequate care home places and care-at-home packages so that people are treated with respect and that our health service resources are being used to best effect.”