To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, what was the maximum time lapse in each hour of operation of the London Ambulance Service control room between the initiation of a call from the emergency switchboard of British Telecom to oral response, for each hour between 0900 and 2400 on Saturday 12 December.
The information requested is shown in the following table. The table also shows the total calls received in each hour and the average time to answer the call.
Number of calls
The figures for maximum time to answer calls are misleading due to a fault in the LAS' telephone equipment which is currently receiving attention. It is British Telecom policy that its exchange operators try another line to control after a 30-second delay has occurred. The original line, though cancelled at the exchange end, continues to produce a signal in the control room and it is invariably these abandoned calls which produce the maximum times.
British Telecom is progressively dealing with this problem on the existing equipment and consideration is being given to bringing forward a new automatic call distribution system for the London Ambulance Service planned for July 1988.