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Air Ambulances

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many successful missions have been carried out by the London Air Ambulance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if any of his Department's Ministers have met representatives of the Daily Express concerning the London Air Ambulance;(2) what representations his Department has received from the

Daily Express and its management concerning the London Air Ambulance.

My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State met representatives of Express Newspapers plc in February 1988 to discuss the helicopter emergency medical service.The Department has met regularly with representatives of Express Newspapers plc and all other parties involved in the helicopter emergency medical service since March 1988.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Ministers will now arrange a visit to the Cornwall First Air Ambulance.

There are no present plans to do so, but we will bear in mind the hon. Gentleman's suggestion should a suitable opportunity arise.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the total monthly running costs for the London Air Ambulance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial contribution the Daily Express has committed to the London Air Ambulance; and over what period.

Express Newspapers plc has agreed to meet all costs directly associated with the aircraft used by the helicopter emergency medical service, including purchase, maintenance and salaries, for the period 1 January 1989 to 31 December 1991.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been provided through his Department's capital support for the London Air Ambulance.

Capital funding in respect of the helicopter emergency medical service is to provide a helipad and lift at the London hospital, Whitechapel and to contribute towards the cost of resuscitation bays at the same hospital.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the breakdown of the cost supported through the Department's revenue funding of the London Air Ambulance.

Central funding has been agreed as follows in respect of day-to-day revenue costs of the helicopter emergency medical service:

£ 000s

1989–90

ITU beds46
Medical salaries11

1990–91

ITU beds274
Medical salaries63

1991–92

ITU beds205·5
Medical salaries47·25

The figures are at 1989–90 prices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to review the resources committed to the London Air Ambulance for the three years from January 1989 before the funding is exhausted.

The helicopter emergency medical service is to be independently academically evaluated during the period of the agreed funding.