HC Deb 21 June 1976 vol 913 c383W
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many patients have used the 234 pay beds in Scotland, for each year from 1970 to 1976, giving precise figures for each year.

Mr. Harry Ewing

Statistics on numbers of patients using pay beds are not kept. The figures of occupancy by private patients for the years 1970–75 are as follows:—

Year Number of pay beds Percentage occupancy
1970–71 328 46.0
1971–72 326 42.7
1972–73 336 37.2
1973–74 324 36.4
1974–75 324 30.2

Figures for 1975–76 (the year during which the number of beds was reduced to 234) are not yet available.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the loss of income annually to the National Health Service in Scotland as a result of the phasing-out of existence of 50 pay beds in Scotland for each year over the next 10 years.

Mr. Harry Ewing

The loss of income due to the phasing out of the first 50 beds will be relatively small, since low occupancy will be a factor in selecting these beds. The rate of phasing out further beds would depend on recommendations by the Health Services Board to be established under the Bill at present before the House; if the total of 234 beds were phased out at the rate of 50 a year, the loss of income attributable to each annual reduction, at current prices, could be roughly estimated at £30,000 for the first year, and then four years at £105,000, bringing out a cumulative annual loss of £450,000.