§ 9. Ms. Estelle Morris
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will make a statement on the funding of the West Midlands ambulance service.
§ Ms. Morris
Is the Minister aware that emergency calls to the West Midlands ambulance service increased by an unprecedented 8 per cent. last year, that 999 calls are being answered by the St. John ambulance service and that telephone callers are frequently put on hold? Given that crisis, how can the Minister justify the fact that some ambulance stations have to close down completely during some shifts because of cuts in staff levels?
§ Mr. Sackville
The performance of the vast majority of ambulance services has changed out of all recognition in recent years—the West Midlands is no exception—and they deserve the hon. Lady's support, not to be denigrated.