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Ambulance Services: Standards

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department plans to issue revised guidance or instructions to primary care trusts on optimum ambulance travel times to accident and emergency units. (157017)

The Department has not issued guidance or recommendations on travelling times to accident and emergency (A and E) departments, and there are no plans to issue such guidance or instructions to primary care trust's.

The way the national health service responds to emergencies needs to focus not just on getting the patient to a location but also on taking care to the patient. This is why it is necessary to focus on a range of measures, including response times by the ambulance service, its ability to administer a wide range of treatment and provision of urgent and social care in the community.

It is a matter for the local NHS to ensure there is appropriate provision of urgent and emergency care services that are responsive to people's needs. This includes A and E provision. The aim should be to provide safe, high quality care as close to home as is compatible with clinical safety.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues on safe travel times for emergency admissions to hospitals in England. (157018)

The Department has not issued guidance on travel times for emergency admissions to hospitals in England.

The way the national health service responds to emergencies needs to focus not just on getting the patient to a location but also on taking care of the patient. This is why it is necessary to focus on a range of measures, including response times by the ambulance service, its ability to administer a wide range of treatment and provision of urgent and social care in the community.

It is a matter for the local NHS to ensure there is appropriate provision of urgent and emergency care services that are responsive to people's needs. This includes accident and emergency provision. The aim should be to provide safe, high quality care as close to home as is compatible with clinical safety.