NHS spend on private ambulances trebles in four years

NHS spending on private ambulances for 999 calls in England has trebled in four years, BBC research has found.

Ambulance trusts paid private companies and voluntary organisations £68.7m to attend emergency calls in 2015-6, compared to £22.1m in 2011-2. They respond to all types of calls.

NHS England said 999 calls for ambulances rose 4.5% last year.

Unions attacked “creeping privatisation” and called for more money for staff recruitment.

The ambulance service in England took 861,000 emergency phone calls in March 2016 – which equates to 27,800 a day – compared to 22,400 calls a day in March 2015, a rise of 24%.

Contractors include private firms and charities such as St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross….read more

BBC News: 26 May 2016

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