§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which UK health authorities are meeting their target levels for the number of delayed discharges. 
§ Mr. Milburn
There are no national targets levels for the number of delayed discharges for health authorities. Health authorities may set targets, but these are locally managed.
Established good practice in hospital discharge seeks to balance the needs and wishes of patients and their carers with the requirement to make the most effective use of available resources. It is in no-one's interest for patients to stay in hospital for longer than they need to and hospital discharge procedures need to be sensitive to individual needs. Delays in discharge can reflect a variety of factors and these will vary between health authorities, depending on a variety of factors.