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Ambulance Services: Ashfield

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 45064, tabled on 2 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact on response times for ambulances in Ashfield and Eastwood of ambulances being sent to patients who did not require emergency care.

Answered on

27 September 2022

We have no plans to make a specific assessment.

National Health Service ambulance trusts employ sophisticated triage systems to minimise the unnecessary deployment of ambulance resources. The NHS is also increasing the capacity of NHS 111, including a £50 million investment in 2022/23 to ensure people receive the appropriate care and avoid unnecessary demand on accident and emergency (A&E) and ambulance services.

NHS England advises that delays in handing over ambulance patients to A&E, rather than ambulances being sent to patients that do not require emergency care, remains the largest operational challenge for ambulance services, including those in Ashfield and Eastwood. NHS England has written to all trusts and systems to to ensure ambulances are not held for longer than 30 minutes before transferring patients into the emergency department, including immediately moving patients who have completed their emergency medical care from the A&E to create capacity for new patients.

NHS England is also providing targeted support to some of the hospitals facing the greatest delays in the handover of ambulance patients into the care of hospitals to identify short and longer-term interventions to improve delays and allow ambulances to respond to emergency calls.