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Response to Public Accounts Committee report, ‘Transforming NHS ambulance services’

To be attributed to Chief Executive Peter Bradley:

“We welcome the report from the Committee of Public Accounts and are pleased that it recognises much of the good work ambulance services do and the high regard with which we are viewed by the public.

“We also support the recommendation for clarification around how ambulances services will be commissioned in future; we believe that we should be commissioned at a regional level, rather than by a large number of local clinical commissioning groups to avoid fragmentation of our services.

“We are keen to further increase the quality of care we provide to people who dial 999. We are now giving more clinical advice over the phone to people who do not need an ambulance response and are taking patients to a range of centres away from emergency departments if that is where they will get more appropriate care.

“Although we will always need to send more than one ambulance crew to the most serious calls, we increasingly want to send single ambulance responders to patients with less serious conditions who can assess them on scene to determine what care will best meet their needs. We also welcome the report’s comments about the need for quick and efficient clinical handovers at hospitals, and we are already working closely with hospitals in London to try to reduce the time our crews spend handing over patients.

“While we expect that the new quality indicators, to determine how ambulance services are performing, will enable us to better benchmark ourselves against other services and enable us to share best practice, we know that more needs to be done to share comparable information and we are working towards this.

“We are committed to working more efficiently in future and are keen to work closely with all of our partners across the NHS to improve the quality of patient care.”