§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private nursing homes and residential homes there were in the United Kingdom in(a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 1999. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The numbers of independent residential and nursing care homes in England at 31 March 1997 and 1998 are 26,600 and 26,700 respectively. Data for 1999 are not yet available. Information for the remainder of the United Kingdom is a matter for the relevant devolved authorities.