HC Deb 08 November 2001 vol 374 cc356-7W
Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has received regarding public funding of air ambulance services; and if he will make a statement;[12528]

(2) which air ambulance services receive public funding. [12529]

Ms Blears

We have received a number of letters of support from a wide variety of organisations suggesting that there should be public funding of air ambulances. Evidence supporting the introduction of air ambulances in the national health service, however, is not convincing. In 1995, the Department commissioned Sheffield University to report on air ambulances. The report failed to show benefits which would justify NHS investment. However, in recognition of the growing public interest in this subject, further research has been commissioned into the contribution made by air ambulances in the care and transportation of seriously ill patients in a modem NHS. The Department will review the position on this issue when the outcome of this further research is available.

Information on the funding of individual air ambulance services is not collected centrally.