HC Deb 29 April 1986 vol 96 c777
13. Mr. Pike

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance he gives to health authorities on the use of quota systems in ambulance services.

Mr. Whitney

Our guidance on the provision of ambulance transport is based on criteria related to medical need. I understand that the Preston health authority has introduced a quota system for non-emergency services, but that there is no question of not meeting all cases of emergency medical need.

Mr. Pike

Will the Minister examine more closely the quota system which has been introduced for the whole of Lancashire? Will he stress to that authority that patients' needs are more important than cutting and saving cash? Will he make sufficient funds available to provide an adequate ambulance service for the people of Lancashire?

Mr. Whitney

I shall reconsider the point that the hon. Gentleman makes. During the five years to 1984–85 the Government have increased ambulance provision nationally in real terms by 9.2 per cent.