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Ambulance Services

Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state in the Official Report the average cost per patient carried by ambulance for (a) emergency and (b) routine visits for 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76 and 1976–77

I regret that information in the form and for the periods requested is not available. Administration of the ambulance services was in the hands of the local health authorities until 1974 and because of changes in accounting arrangements their unit costs would not be comparable with later figures. Costing returns for 1974–75 were incomplete, but from those received it is calculated that the average cost per patient carried by ambulance in England was £2·76; in 1975–76 the comparable figure was £3·84. It is estimated that the average in 1975–76 was £10·57 for emergency cases and £319 for routine visits. Summarisation and analysis of costs for 1976–77 is still in progress and no averages are yet available.