HC Deb 24 February 2004 vol 418 cc130-1
6. Hugh Bayley (City of York) (Lab)

How many York Hospitals NHS Trust beds an occupied as a result of delayed discharge of a patient to a care home; and how many were occupied a year ago for this reason. [155723]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health(Dr. Stephen Ladyman)

York Hospitals NHS Trust has reported 12 delayed discharges for patients awaiting a care home place, compared with 32 a year ago.

Hugh Bayley

Delayed discharge has been a persistent problem in York, affecting at its peak well over 100 people. 1 have raised this problem with successive Conservative and Labour Ministers, so I congratulate my hon. Friend on getting on top of it and bringing it under control, because it is distressing for the patients involved and their families. Will he continue to monitor the availability and cost of care home beds local authority by local authority, in order to ensure that there are sufficient resources for those numbers, now that they have come down, to be kept down?

Dr. Ladyman

I can assure my hon. Friend that I will keep on top of this problem, and I am delighted that we are having such success in reducing delayed discharges and providing extra capacity in the York area. That has happened not by accident, but as a result of substantial extra investment and the assistance of an expert team of change agents, all of which have been provided by this Government.

Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York) (Con)

Will the Minister tell us to which period the figures he has just announced relate, given that the latest figures that I have show that 24 beds were in fact blocked? Can he also give us the number of care home places that have been closed in the York district, which also serves the Vale of York, in the past year? Is that figure not a source of concern to him?

Dr. Ladyman

I can assure the hon. Lady that the figures I have just given, as reported by the local trust, are accurate, and are the up-to-date figures for the number of people blocking beds in respect of a care home place. Perhaps she has a different basis for her figures. The simple fact is that across York—throughout her constituency, as well as throughout that of my hon. Friend the Member for City of York (Hugh Bayley)—care home capacity is available as a result of the building care capacity grants that we have made available. There is substantial extra funding for social services to ensure that they Can manage delayed discharges; indeed, the entire delayed discharge system is working very well. If the hon. Lady wants further advice on the buoyancy of the nursing home sector, she might like to refer to her right hon. Friend the shadow Secretary of State. The annual stock market reports of the company of which he is chairman describe how buoyant the industry currently is

Mr. Speaker

Order. These matters are out of order. I expect better from the Minister.

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