To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were available in (a) St. Helens, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wigan and (d) Warrington in the care home sector in each of the past five years. 
The latest available information on the number of residential and nursing care home places in St. Helens, Merseyside, Wirral and Warrington is shown in the table.
Residential and Nursing home places in St. Helens, Merseyside, Wigan and Warrington 1997–2001
Total number of care home places
As at 31 March
|St. Helens and Knowsley area2||2,860||2,960||2,750||2,890||2,760|
|Wigan and Bolton area4||4,250||4,920||5,070||5,060||4,680|
|North Cheshire area5,6||n/a||n/a||3,060||3,170||3,170|
1Total includes places in residential LA staffed, independent and dual registered homes, and beds in general and mental nursing homes, private hospitals and clinics.
2 Nursing data refers to St. Helens and Knowsley health authority. Residential data refers to Knowsley and St. Helens metropolitan districts.
3 Residential data for Merseyside refers to Knowsley, St. Helens, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral metropolitan districts. Nursing data refers to St. Helens and Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral health authorities.
4 Nursing data refers to Wigan and Bolton health authority. Residential data refers to Bolton and Wigan metropolitan district.
5 Nursing data refers to North Cheshire health authority. Residential refers to Halton and Warrington Unitary Authorities.
6Halton and Warrington Unitary Authorities did not exist prior to 1999, therefore data for 1997 and 1998 is not available.
RA Form A and RH(N) forms, Department of Health