Scotland is on track to meet a new target aimed at tackling bed blocking, the Health Secretary has said.
Nicola Sturgeon spoke after figures revealed the number of patients who had to remain in hospital after they were well enough to leave had fallen.
A census carried out in April revealed there were 534 of these delayed discharges, down from 665 in April 2011.
The latest figures included 13 patients who had been waiting more than six weeks to be discharged.
In 2007, the year the SNP came to power, there were 233 patients who had been waiting more than six weeks to be discharged, including five who had been delayed for more than a year.
The figures from April this year also revealed there were 108 patients who had been delayed in hospital for more than four weeks while 315 were held up by more than two weeks.
In most cases delayed discharges, or bed blocking, occurs when patients are unable to leave hospital because they are waiting for care to be arranged.
In October last year the Scottish Government announced that by April 2013 no patient should have to wait more than four weeks to leave hospital after they are well enough to be discharged.
By April 2015 that will be reduced so patients should not have to wait more than two weeks.
Ms Sturgeon said the fall in bed blocking meant the NHS was on its way to meeting the 2013 target.