§ Mr. Moore
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many patients(a) in each health board area and (b) nationally were retained past their original discharge date in NHS beds before moving to social service beds in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will estimate the cost of the NHS of this delayed discharge. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
[holding answer 5 March 1999]: Information to a consistent definition is not currently available. A Working Group of representatives from The Scottish Office, Health Boards, NHS Trusts and Local Authorities is developing arrangements to enable data to be recorded on a consistent basis. These arrangements will be piloted in Scotland from April 1999. Standardised information should be recorded throughout Scotland from April 2000.
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.144W