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Ambulance Service

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of running each ambulance service.

The information requested, derived from the 1988–89 annual accounts of the regional health authorities (RHAs) and district health authorities in England which manage and account for these services, is shown in the table.

Total revenue expenditure on patient transport (i.e. ambulance) services—1988–89
Regional/district health authorities£
Northern Regional Health Authority9,652,274
South Tees4,063,738
East Cumbria4,198,245
Durham4,292,461
Yorkshire Regional Health Authority13,811,675
Hull6,813,348
York4,062,366
Trent Regional Health Authority7,496,560
South Derbyshire5,938,750
Leicestershire5,349,592
North Lincolnshire4,645,797
Nottingham6,577,756
Cambridge3,618,856
East Suffolk3,396,348
Norwich6,057,536
North Bedfordshire2,942,325
East Hertfordshire5,753,787
Mid Essex9,148,786
Eastbourne5,485,420
Medway9,766,199
South West Thames Regional Health Authority46,029,885
East Surrey7,398,616
Chichester1,157,371
Mid Downs1,612,104
Worthing1,423,770
East Dorset4,502,789
Winchester7,696,549
Swindon3,836,516
Isle of Wight939,210
West Berkshire3,814,271
Aylesbury3,246,717
Northampton3,208,202
Oxfordshire3,192,442
Bristol and Weston5,356,017
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly3,740,707
Exeter3,325,197

Regional/district health authorities

£

North Devon1,273,991
Plymouth1,839,102
Torbay1,875,101
Gloucester3,710,954
Somerset3,028,723
West Midlands Regional Health Authority14,485,006
Worcester4,544,593
Shropshire2,815,530
Mid Staffordshire6,184,806
South Warwickshire2,855,550
Chester5,613,353
South Sefton9,065,193
North Western Regional Health Authority16,408,654
Preston9,029,976
Total—England306,282,714

Notes:

1. The figures are provisional (as yet subject to audit).

2. The South West Thames Regional Health Authority accounts for all the expenditure relevant to the London Ambulance Service. Generally the other Regional Health Authorities shown manage and account for the service provided to particular conurbations within their respective regions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department's evaluation of the Cornwall air ambulance service includes the possible consequences for the service of the granting of self-governing status to hospitals from the jurisdiction of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly health authority; and if he will make a statement.

There is no reason to suppose tht the possible NHS trust status of the hospitals served by the Cornwall air ambulance will affect either its need or effectiveness.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the criteria for assessing the skills of emergency ambulance staff required to use paramedical skills gained from extended training to National Health Service training authority standard; what comparison has been made with payments made to other National Health Service staff using paramedical skills; and in offering an additional £500 to emergency ambulance staff, what accounrt has been taken of the amount of overtime they are obliged to work.

Selected, qualified ambulance staff who volunteer for extended training, are trained and certified as fit to practice in the skills of extended ambulance aid by NHS consultants. They must requalify annually. The objective of this training is to save life and reduce morbidity, and mortality. A clinical audit carried out in 1988 indicated that of 28,000 patients who received some form of ambulance aid, some 95 per cent. were still alive on arrival at hospital. There are no comparable payments made to other NHS staff. The additional £500 to be paid to fully qualified staff will be part of the annual salary and will count in full when calculating overtime and other benefits.