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Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at what (i) age and, (ii) mileage an ambulance is expected to have reached the end of its normal working life; how many and what percentage of ambulances are beyond that normal span (a) in Northern Ireland and (b) in each health and social services board area. [17357]

[holding answer 25 November 1997]: DHSS Guidelines for the replacement of accident and emergency ambulances stipulate that those vehicles should be replaced after they have reached seven years of age or whenever they have covered 140,000 miles, whichever is the sooner. For non-emergency ambulances this is five years or 70,000 miles.In Northern Ireland, 22 representing 17 per cent. of Accident and Emergency Ambulances are beyond the normal span of age and mileage. Seventy-four non-emergency ambulances representing 88 per cent. are beyond the normal span of age and mileage.The position in each Board area is given in the following table.

Accident and Emergency Ambulances
Number in Board areaNorthSouthEastWestTotal
Number in board area37303927133
Exceed on both1413422
Age and mileage (per cent.)38381517
Non-emergency Ambulances
Number in board area1614381684
Exceed on both1613301574
Age and mileage (per cent.)10092799388