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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the setting of ambulance response targets does not adversely affect rural areas.
Ambulance trusts are performance managed against two ambulance response targets, which are headline measures in the NHS Operating Framework. Ambulance services have to meet these targets for their geographical area and it is for individual ambulance trusts to decide how to configure their work force to best respond to an emergency.
Clinical quality indicators for the ambulance service came into effect from April 2011 and require each ambulance trust to publish the median time to treatment, the 95th centile time to treatment and 99th centile time to treatment for immediately life-threatening (Category A) calls. The requirement to publish this data, and in particular the 95th centile and 99th centile time to treatment, will ensure that trusts must demonstrate an excellent service to all patients, whether the incident occurs in a rural or urban setting.