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Protective Suits

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much additional central funding has been allocated this year to the health and ambulance authorities in Nottinghamshire to provide improved personal protective equipment, including respirators and mobile decontamination units to be used in response to nuclear, biological or chemical terrorist attack; and how many staff have been given specialist training in (a) the use of such equipment and (b) the response to such attacks. [116481]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: The Department allocated £5 million in 2002–03 nationally for the provision of additional and updated personal protective equipment for health service personnel. That equipment has been delivered to hospital accident and emergency departments and to ambulance services, and relevant training programmes have been implemented. Some £130,000 was allocated to health service providers who serve Nottinghamshire. This bought equipment for the East Midlands Ambulance service (EMAS) (which also serves Derbyshire and Leicestershire), Queens Medical Centre (QMC), Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust. The health community is actively undertaking training for staff. EMAS has, for example, trained 30 staff across its area of operation and has plans to train a further 30, and 60 staff at the QMC have been trained in the use of the personal protection equipment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance service staff in the East Midland Region have been issued with the newly designed protective suit for use in response to nuclear, biological or chemical attack by terrorists; and how many of these staff have so far received specialist training in the response to such incidents. [116482]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: There are three ambulance trusts that serve the East Midlands and the information requested for each of those trusts is shown in the table.

Ambulance TrustNumber of suits availableNumber of staff trained
East Midlands Ambulance Service15030
Lincolnshire Ambulance100116
Two Shires Ambulance10040