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Ambulance Services: Standards

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 132552, tabled on 25 January 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce NHS ambulance waiting times in England.

Answered on

31 January 2023

A range of measures are in place to reduce ambulance response times. The NHS winter resilience plan will increase NHS bed capacity by the equivalent of at least 7,000 general and acute beds, helping reduce pressure in A&E so that ambulances can get swiftly back out on the road.

An additional £250 million has been made available to enable the NHS to buy up beds in the community to safely discharge thousands of patients from hospital, and capital for discharge lounges and ambulance hubs. This will improve flow through hospitals and reducing waits to handover ambulance patients. This is on top of the £500 million already invested last year.

NHS England has allocated £150 million of additional system funding for ambulance service pressures in 2022/23, alongside £20 million of capital funding to upgrade the ambulance fleet in each year to 2024/25.

As announced in the Autumn Statement, the government is investing an additional £3.3 billion in each of 2023-24 and 2024-25 to enable rapid action to improve urgent and emergency, elective, and primary care performance towards pre-pandemic levels. The NHS will soon set out detailed recovery plans to deliver faster ambulance response times.