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Ambulance Services: Standards

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the arrival of (a) volunteer responders, (b) paramedics and (c) other ambulance service staff stops the clock for the purposes of recording the ambulance target arrival times. (246552)

For the purposes of reporting ambulance response time standards, the ‘clock stops’ when the first emergency response vehicle arrives at the scene of the incident. For the purposes of the Category A (life-threatening) eight-minute standard, an emergency response may only be by:

an emergency ambulance; or

a rapid response vehicle equipped with a defibrillator to provide treatment at the scene; or

an approved first responder equipped with a defibrillator, who is accountable to the ambulance service; or when a health care professional is at the location of the incident, equipped with a defibrillator and deemed clinically appropriate to respond by the trust. A first responder is not a substitute for an ambulance response and an ambulance response should be dispatched to all calls attended by an approved first responder.

For the purposes of the Category A and B 19-minute standard, a permitted response is a fully equipped ambulance vehicle able to transport the patient in a clinically safe manner. This may be a car or ambulance as determined by the information received by the caller.