MORE than 1,100 patients have died while waiting to be discharged from Scottish hospitals since March 2015, new figures show.

At least 1,152 patients died between then and November 2017, a Scottish Labour freedom of information inquiry has revealed. The final figure may be higher as NHS Grampian did not respond to the party's request for information.

Delayed discharge, colloquially known as bed-blocking, occurs when patients are clinically ready to leave hospital but are waiting for the necessary care and accommodation arrangements to be put in place.

Labour pointed out that in February 2015 Health Secretary Shona Robison pledged to eliminate delayed discharge in Scotland's NHS.

Health spokesman Anas Sarwar called for increased investment in the NHS and "that means doing more than tinkering around the edges on tax, it means real and radical change."

In response, Robison said the Scottish Government was investing heavily in health and social care. and had "invested almost half a billion pounds of additional funds into social care and integration this year, while the health revenue budget will increase by almost two billion by 2021". Adding that the number of patients delayed had fallen by 11 per cent in the last month.