SCOTLAND’S leading online recruitment agency for the care sector has urged people across Scotland to consider a career in care as the crisis over delayed discharges from hospital shows little sign of abating.

Novacare made its plea after statistics showed only a tiny reduction in the number of days people are spending in hospital because their discharge has been delayed.

NHS figures showed that in April, some 40,994 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed, a decrease of 1% compared with 41,453 days in April 2018.

In April, the latest month figures are available for, the average number of beds occupied per day due to delayed discharges was 1,366, a reduction on March, when the daily average was 1401.

Co-founder and chief executive of Novacare, Stephen Wilson said: “Although this is a decrease of 1% compared with April 2018, it clearly reinforces the fact that as a country, our NHS system is still in a state of crisis when it comes to the issue of bed blocking. 
 What makes this situation even worse is that in almost all cases, delayed discharges are never the individual’s fault and more often than not, it boils down to the fact that it’s the health and social care partnership’s responsibility to ensure that people have the correct follow on care and support in place for when they return home, which in many instances is simply not there.”

“Delayed discharges have a serious impact on the individual, their family, care provider, NHS and local authority. Not only do extra unnecessary days in hospital cost the NHS valuable time and money, but there are also a number of individuals who will seriously suffer from spending too much additional time in hospital.”

“Every day spent in hospital robs people of their independence and skills. They are more likely to need higher levels of support as a result of too much time in hospital as skills and abilities are often lost or forgotten.

“Patients being separated from their families can also be distressing, particularly where they are the main care provider or their family are unable to visit them in hospital.”

According to, “many in the NHS have blamed local councils for the delays in discharging patients, arguing that the social care system isn’t up to the task. Most local authorities, dealing with cuts to their budgets, have reduced their spend on social care at a time when demand is only rising”.

Earlier this year Novacare warned that Brexit was already affecting the recruitment of staff from the European Union. Wilson said: “Care staff from across Europe bring with them not just skills, qualifications and experience, but a culture, outlook and language skills loved by those we support.”

Issuing a plea for more people in Scotland to consider whether they can and should take up a career in the care sector, Novacare stated it “is working to support local authorities, NHS and service providers to recruit high quality staff more efficiently, reliably and cost effectively.”