HC Deb 22 March 2001 vol 365 c351W
Paddy Ashdown

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the extent to which the West Country Ambulance Service has met its response times targets in each of the last 10 years; if he will provide a statistical breakdown in relation to response times in(a) Somerset, (b) South Somerset and (c) the Yeovil constituency in this period; and if he will make a statement. [153377]

Ms Stuart

[holding answer 14 March 2001]Information about ambulance response times for each National Health Service ambulance trust and nationally for 1991–92 is contained in the Department's statistical bulletin "Patient Transport Services 1981 to 1991–92, Summary Information from Forms KA32 and KA34". Information for 1994–95 is contained in the Department's statistical bulletin "Ambulance Services, England 1994–95". Information for the period 1995–96 to 1999–2000 is contained in the Department's statistical bulletin "Ambulance Services, England 1999–2000". Copies are in the Library.

Our policy is to save more lives by providing faster, more responsive and effective emergency ambulance services. In July 1996, we announced revised standards for ambulance service responses to immediately life-threatening incidents where more rapid intervention would have a significant impact on saving lives.

Clinical evidence indicates that 1,800 lives could be saved each year in people under 75 years of age suffering heart attacks through the achievement of the standard that immediately life-threatening emergency calls (Category A calls) should be responded to 75 per cent. of the time within eight minutes irrespective of location. We are determined that every NHS ambulance trust must achieve the 75 per cent. milestone as quickly as possible.