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Hospital Beds

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many delayed discharges there were in (a) each strategic health authority area, (b) each primary care trust area and (c) England in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) reason for delay and (ii) age of patient; and how many patients in each case were occupying an acute hospital bed. (241271)

The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Data on the reason for the delayed discharge are not collected centrally for primary care trusts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many bed nights patients who were ready for discharge spent in hospital in the last 12 months; and what the estimated total cost to the NHS of these delayed discharges was. (241996)

[holding answer 10 December 2008]: In the year ending 16 November 2008 there was a total of 1,737,475 bed-days as a result of delayed discharges from both acute and non-acute hospital beds in England. This represents a fall of almost 10 per cent. over the previous 12 months.

We have made no estimate of the cost of these delayed discharges. Since January 2004, if a patient remains in hospital because social services have not provided the assessments or services the patient or their carer needs to be safely discharged, the local authority is liable to pay the national health service a charge per day of delay. The charge has been set at a level higher than the cost of providing services to support discharge to act as an incentive to councils to improve their assessment and service provision.