THE number of patients stuck in hospitals when they are well enough to leave has increased in the last year – despite targets to tackle the problem.

The latest figures show 777 patients delayed on wards compared to 675 in October 2011.

These figures exclude particularly complex cases – so-called code nines – but the new data also shows more of these patients are also trapped in hospitals.

Loading article content

NHS Lothian, which is being forced to re-open wards at a closed hospital because capacity is so tight, has the highest rates of delayed discharge.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said significant progress had been made tackling the issue.