HC Deb 30 November 1959 vol 614 cc868-9
47. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements he is making for an efficient ambulance service in the Willenhall area of Staffordshire.

Miss Pitt

This is primarily a matter for the responsible local health authority. I am informed that the Staffordshire County Council proposes to review the arrangements in the area when its new ambulance and radio control station at Tipton is functioning.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will the Parliamentary Secretary ask her right hon. and learned Friend to have a look at this matter? Is she aware that there is widespread public anxiety at Willenhall in connection with the ambulance service in that area?

Miss Pitt

I am told that the ambulance cover in the area is regarded by the council as adequate. It is provided from the nearby station at Darlaston which provides a 24-hour service. The distance from this station to Willenhall is only three miles and it takes ten minutes by ambulance. There is liaison with Wolverhampton and Walsall to cover emergencies. The Staffordshire County Council is satisfied with the ambulance service at the moment.

Mr. K. Robinson

Would not the hon. Lady agree that it might be easier to provide an efficient ambulance service if the control were invested in the authority using the ambulances, namely, the regional hospital boards? Has her right hon. and learned Friend given consideration to that matter?

Miss Pitt

I am too new at my job to be able to say whether my right hon. and learned Friend has given consideration to that matter, but so far as I am aware the system works well in the hands of local authorities. I promise, however, to take note of the point which the hon. Gentleman has put to me.

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