Ambulance Services

Health written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of John Maples John Maples Conservative, Stratford-on-Avon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when it was decided to advertise for the post of directors of the proposed new West Midlands Ambulance Trust; and why the post was advertised before the consultation process on the merger of the ambulance trusts had ended.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services)

Since we published the ambulance review last year, we have made it clear that the reorganisation of ambulance trusts is subject to consultation. The adverts for these posts do not pre-empt any decisions that Ministers will make following the end of the consultation process.

Both the advert and the application pack clearly state that these appointments are dependent on ministerial decisions on ambulance trust configuration.

This is necessary contingency planning. If a decision is made to change ambulance trust configuration, we would need to be able to move quickly to establish the new organisations in order to minimise uncertainty for staff and for business continuity. This includes having full boards as soon as possible so that decisions can be taken and staff transferred to the new organisations.

If new organisations are not established, appointments will not be made.

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