§ Mr. Callaghan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many acute psychiatric beds are available(a) in total and (b) per head of population in the North West region. 
§ Mr. Bowis
The information available centrally is shown in the table.
Average daily number of available short-stay beds—wards open 24 hours—NHS hospitals: North West region —mental illness 1994–95 Number of beds1 2Number of beds per 100,000 2,011 47.8 1 Source of data: Department of Health KHO3 returns. 2 Based on OPCS estimate of 4,206,500 as resident population.
1. Definition of short-stay: an element of the component of the ward classification intensity of care (psychiatric). Facilities for the mentally ill who are intended to stay less than one year.
2. The table excludes places in special hospitals and NHS secure wards, which are not defined in this way.
3. "Bed availability for England", a copy of which is in the Library, contains information by individual National Health Service providers, i.e., trusts, directly managed units and the special health authorities, with summary tables for England. Data are collected by broad ward classification rather than by clinical specialty and returns are made on a financial year basis. 1994–95 is the latest year for which data are available.