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Service response to Government white paper

The Service has called for reform of time-based targets and a greater role in public health promotion in its response to the Government’s white paper on the future of the NHS.

‘Equity and Excellence – Liberating the NHS’ was published in July and sets out the coalition’s plans to reform the health service.

In its response to consultation on the white paper, the Service calls for assessment of its performance to be based on clinical evidence, rather than time-based targets.

Chief Executive Peter Bradley said: “Response times are only one part of the overall quality framework for the service and more clinically appropriate measures of success are needed.

“The evidence base of the existing time targets is not strong and we believe that, in particular, the Category B target should be removed and at the same time, an adjustment is made to Category A to allow not only more appropriate use of primary care, but also far better use of the ambulance service.

Peter added that, as the first point of contact for patients, the Service increasingly sees public health promotion as being one of its key roles.

“We have taken an active role in initiatives such as the stroke campaign ‘FAST’, teaching first aid in schools, Junior Citizens schemes and working with local community groups and community first responders. We recognise there is much more we can do in the future,” he said.

The Service has also said it would like to play a greater role in coordinating NHS emergency preparedness in London.

Peter said 999 services should be commissioned in clear geographical areas – in much the same way as they are now rather than through large numbers of GP consortia. He called for strong links between the new non-emergency 111 number and 999 to ensure that patients are referred to the most appropriate service.

The Service also wants to see further development of financial incentives which support trusts in driving down demand, particularly into A&E. And it says it is committed to improving quality while delivering more efficient services, with a focus on initiatives for prevention, urgent and emergency care, and long-term conditions.

  • Creating local consortia of GP practices to take on responsibility for commissioning local health care – and giving them a budget to do this
  • Abolishing all primary care trusts and strategic health authorities and creating a new independent NHS Commissioning Board from April 2012
  • Replacing performance targets with a set of national goals based on clinical evidence
  • Increasing choice so that other providers can compete with the NHS
  • All NHS trusts becoming, or being part of, foundation trusts by 2014
  • Monitor acting as economic regulator of providers and promoting competition
  • Giving employers a greater say in planning and developing their workforce
  • Shifting responsibility for public health to local authorities
  • Creating a new Public Health Service

Notes to editors

  • For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286
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