HC Deb 02 March 1988 vol 128 c608W
Mr. Fraser

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will identify and provide details of what discussions and considerations are currently being undertaken within his Department with regard to its privatisation of the ambulance service or elements of it.

Mrs. Currie

[holding answer 29 February 1988]: We published a scrutiny report on the non-emergency sector of the ambulance service in April 1984 when we said that it was open to district health authorities to buy in part of the ambulance service from the private sector if that is more cost effective and provided the quality of service was maintained. Many NHS ambulance authorities already use private contractors, the hospital care service and voluntary aid societies to transport appropriate NHS patients. This has been the case for many years and helps to ensure that skilled ambulance crews, and specialist vehicles are used for those who need the special care and attention which they can provide.

The Government have no plans centrally for altering the future management or operational arrangements for NHS emergency or non-emergency ambulance services.

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