§ Mr. Lansley:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many intensive care beds were available in the NHS on (a) 1 April and (b) the latest date for which figures are available. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 2 December 2003]: A census of critical care beds is conducted twice every year in January and July. The latest figures available for 2003 are shown in the table.
Open and staffed adult critical care provision on census day—NHS Organisations, England Census Day Level 3
15 January 2003 1,746 1.351 3,097 16 July 2003 1,731 1,397 3,128
The census on critical care provision is a snapshot of the number of beds open, available and staffed for critically ill patients at a point in time. As a result, both 78W the overall number of beds and the number of level 3 (equivalent of intensive care) and level 2 (equivalent of high dependency) beds will fluctuate from day-to-day and hour-to-hour, according to patient need and staff availability.