To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his policy for the provision of hospital beds for the continuing 'care of geriatric patients, giving figures for existing and planned future NHS bed numbers in each of the units of Lothian health board; and what additional funding he is planning for nursing and medical provision for social work departments to meet the needs for alternative community care for people by such changes.
[holding answer 22 July 1993]: Assessment of the need for national health service accommodation for the continuing care of geriatric patients is a matter for health boards. The provision of such accommodation is a matter for boards as purchasers and the relevant unit or trust as the provider.Information on NHS bed numbers for quarters ending 31 December 1992 and 31 March 1993, the latest available, are shown in the table below. Lothian health board are currently reviewing their strategy for the care of the elderly. Until that review is complete figures for future NHS beds for the elderly are not available.addition, my right hon. Friend recently announced an increase of £28 million in the funds available for bridging finance to facilitate the transfer of patients from hospitals into the community