§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are his plans for the future of the Scottish ambulance service; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Since gaining NHS Trust status on 1 April 1995, the Scottish ambulance service has continued to work towards its objectives of providing the highest possible standards of pre-hospital care for patients and an efficient transport service for non-emergency patients.
Notwithstanding the high standard of service that is consistently being delivered, officials of the trust and of the Scottish Office Home and Health Department are considering whether there are any steps that could be taken further to improve the service to those patients who are most in need.