The Scottish Government has been urged to publish its plans to reduce the number of delayed discharges from hospital as figures revealed the problem is increasing.

Statistics show a 15% year-on-year rise in the number of patients who were well enough to be discharged but unable to leave due to reasons such as social care considerations or a care package not being in place.

In the August census, 1,165 patients who had a delayed discharge, also known as “bed blocking”, were delayed for health and social care reasons – 75% of the total number of “blocks” – up from 1,015 at the same time last year and 1,100 the previous month.

More than one fifth of blocks (22%), or 263 cases, were due to complex needs and 36 (3%) were for patient or family-related reasons.

A total of 43,913 days were spent in hospital due to delayed discharge in August, up 5% on last August.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman, Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “When patients are trapped in hospital, sometimes for hundreds of nights on end, their condition can worsen and opportunities to rebuild their lives are lost.

“That is why the Health Secretary should set out the Scottish Government’s plans for reducing avoidable delayed discharges.”