HC Deb 07 February 1962 vol 653 cc401-2
8. Mr. J. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many ambulances in Midlothian are operated by one man only; and if he will make it compulsory for each ambulance to have two men in attendance.

Mr. Maclay

Normally all of them. But an attendant is provided if requested by the general practitioner and the majority of emergency calls are dealt with by ambulances from Edinburgh which are normally double-manned.

Mr. Hill

Is the Secretary of State aware that many ambulances, when they go to pick up patients, are manned by one man? When they go to pick up stretcher cases, that man must beg assistance from the public. I know of a case in which a fifteen-stone man was involved and where the man driving the ambulance had to get his wife to help to carry the man out. Would not the right hon. Gentleman look at this matter again and ensure that ambulances are manned by two men instead of one?

Mr. Maclay

If the general practitioner requests a second man, that man is, as far as I know, almost invariably provided. What the hon. Gentleman may not appreciate is that 80 per cent. of ambulance cases are sitting cases. It would not be sensible or practicable to provide two men for every case.

Mr. Hoy

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the general practitioner is not always involved? In a case involving an accident which I have drawn to the attention of the right hon. Gentleman's Department, when the ambulance arrived there was only one man, the driver, in it. No one can blame him. Could not we have a service under which two men are sent with an ambulance to prevent trouble?

Mr. Maclay

As I said in my Answer, the majority of emergency cases are dealt with by ambulances which are double-manned. I am investigating the case to which the hon. Gentleman refers and hope to write to him very soon about it.

Forward to