HC Deb 04 November 1993 vol 231 cc354-5W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what way journey times by ambulance between Lame and the new Antrim hospitals have been recorded; and what is the estimated journey time by ambulance for patients between Lame and the Antrim hospital.

Mr. Ancram

The Northern health and social services board has carried out "trial runs" using three different methods, to calculate the travel time from Larne to the Antrim hospital site.

The first method involved an ambulance travelling at high speed on a normal day but without the use of the emergency blue light. The recorded time was 20 minutes. The second method involved travelling by car at normal speed and on a normal day. The time recorded was 25 minutes. The third method involved using a computer model which simulated a journey by ambulance in poor travel conditions. The time calculated was also 25 minutes.

The board estimates that in a real emergency, even in rush-hour traffic, the journey could be completed by ambulance in approximately 20 minutes. In normal traffic conditions a reduction of three of four minutes in that time would be possible.