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House of Commons Hansard
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Ambulance Services: Greater London
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) ambulances, (b) rapid response vehicles and (c) air ambulances there were in each London borough in each year since 2000; [323800]

(2) whether he has made an estimate of the lowest number of (a) ambulances, (b) rapid response vehicles and (c) air ambulances available for emergency response in each London borough on average on a single day in each year since 2000.

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This information is not held centrally. The purchasing of ambulance vehicles is a matter for national health service ambulance trusts to manage in order to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand. The number of available emergency response vehicles is a matter for national health service ambulance trusts to manage in order to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average time taken for an ambulance to reach a category A emergency was in each London borough in each year since 2000; [323802]

(2) how ambulance services in each London borough were set (a) category A eight, (b) category A 19 and (c) category B 19 minute response targets in each year since 2000;

(3) how many times an ambulance service (a) did not meet the eight minute response target and (b) took over 15 minutes to respond to a category A emergency in each London borough in each year since 2000;

(4) what the average response time was for (a) air ambulances, (b) road ambulances and (c) rapid response vehicles in each London borough in each year since 2000.

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The Department does not collect information on average response times to emergency calls by national health service ambulance trusts.

The data that the Department does collect on ambulance response times are published on an annual basis in the statistical bulletin, “Ambulance services, England”. These documents have already been placed in the Library and are available on the Information Centre for health and social care website:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs

All ambulance trusts are required to meet the same national response time standards. Category A calls (those presenting conditions that may be immediately life threatening) should be responded to within eight minutes in 75 per cent. of cases and category B calls (those conditions that are serious but not immediately life threatening) should be responded to within 19 minutes in 95 per cent. of cases.

The Department only collects national data at ambulance trust level, with strategic health authorities as the local headquarters of the NHS, and primary care trusts as commissioners, having the responsibility for ensuring that national response time standards are delivered and maintained by trusts. This may mean that trusts locally will look at performance data below ambulance trust level, but whether and how the NHS does this is for each region to decide and manage locally.