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London Ambulance Service

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

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.

Maximum

Average

Number of calls

0900–10003·250·6384
1000–11003·280·63116
1100–12004·491·04157
1200–13008·131·45137
1300–14009·421·45122
1400–15006·360·83118
1500–16007·291·66128
1600–17004·531·0478
1700–18005·081·87119
1800–19002·310·6392
1900–20007·561·2598
2000–21008·151·4588
2100–22006·250·8372
2200–23006·571·0494
2300–24003·561·25116

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.