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Health Services: Hemel Hempstead

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the changes in the levels of local demand for (a) double-manned ambulances, (b) emergency care assistants and (c) community first responders following the closure of acute services at Hemel Hempstead hospital. (268886)

As an operational matter, it is for the local national health service to commission urgent and emergency care services from local service providers with a view to meeting specific local demands. This provision of services can be delivered by a mix of providers, and by staff working in a range of roles. The particular mix of providers and roles can be expected to vary from area to area, but the local NHS is best placed to determine what is most appropriate in each case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the likely effect on the time taken to transfer patients by ambulance to appropriate acute care facilities of the closure of acute services at Hemel Hempstead hospital. (268887)

There is no recommended minimum or maximum travelling time, or distance, to healthcare facilities issued by the Department. However, regardless of the reconfiguration of services, there are national standards for the response time of ambulances. 75 per cent. of all ambulance category A (life-threatening) 999 calls should be responded to in eight minutes or less (95 per cent. in 19 minutes) and 95 per cent. of category B (serious) 999 calls should be responded to in 19 minutes or less, ensuring that appropriate, timely care is provided to patients at the scene.