NHS England has awarded a contract to St John Ambulance for additional ambulance service capacity nationally to help cope with high demand and handover delays, with the capacity available from the start of August.
The contract was tendered in May seeking “auxiliary ambulance services” to provide “national surge capacity to enhance the response, conveyance and support to ambulance trusts across England. Specifically, provision of emergency and non-emergency ambulance crews with capacity to respond to callouts across categories 1-4.”
The contract was for an initial eight months with the option to extend for an additional three years, and at the value of £7.5m a year, amounting to up to £30m.
St John Ambulance said it would “provide at least 5,000 hours per month of support (more than 400 12-hour shifts) to England’s 10 NHS ambulance trusts”. This equates to less than one extra ambulance operating round-the-clock for each ambulance trust – so is likely to be very small compared to existing capacity – but officials stressed teams would be targeted at times and areas of particular need.
Full article in the HSJ, 1 August 2022