Liam Byrne (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health; Birmingham, Hodge Hill, Labour)
The Department does not estimate changes in hospital bed numbers. The latest capacity planning exercise, conducted in 2004, was designed to ensure there was sufficient activity in place to deliver the 2006–07 to 2007–08 public service agreements targets. The Departmental focus was on the levels of elective, non-elective and diagnostics activity planned by strategic health authorities rather than bed numbers.
Determination of the number of hospital beds required to deliver planned levels of activity set out in local delivery plans is the responsibility of the national health service locally.