§ Mr. Ruffley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many times the way the information on delayed discharges is collated has been changed in the last year for(a) Suffolk West PCT and (b) Central Suffolk PCT; and for what reasons; 446W
(2) what criteria are used by his Department when putting together centrally collected delayed discharge figures. 
§ Jacqui Smith
In the last year the basis of the information collected nationally has changed to patients of all ages, rather than only patients over 75 years and from April 2002 the data have been collected by primary care trust area instead of the former health authorities.
The information collected via the Department's Service and Financial Framework Report returns is based on the following definition of a delayed discharge.A delayed discharge occurs when a patient is ready for transfer from an 'acute' bed, but still occupying an 'acute' bed in a hospital. The patient being ready for transfer when a clinician in conjunction with the multi-disciplinary team have decided both that the patient no longer requires to occupy an 'acute' hospital bed and is safe to be transferred".