The following statement has been issued in response to reports about the use of single responders by ambulance services nationally.
To be attributed to a London Ambulance Service spokesperson:
“We currently deploy between 60 and 80 rapid response vehicles each day, which are staffed by single responders. To support these vehicles we also deploy a fleet of up to 240 ambulances. We have been using rapid response vehicles of this type for several years now and are planning to increase their numbers over the next two years.
“The expansion in the use of single responders is in line with our vision of delivering more appropriate care to our patients.
“Increasingly we will be sending an ambulance with two staff only to those calls where it is clear that this type of resource is needed, including to cardiac patients or to serious road traffic collisions, or where there may be safety concerns for staff.
“For those other patients—who we assess as needing more than telephone advice but who don’t have life-threatening conditions—we believe it would be better to send a fast response car with a single responder in the first instance. If on assessing the patient they decide an ambulance is needed, they will request one.
“By progressively moving to more single responders we will be able to ensure that we retain ambulances for those patients who really need them.”
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For further information please contact London Ambulance Service communications department on 020 7921 5113.