Minister misled MPs over ambulance crisis

The HSJ reports that Maria Caulfield, a health minister, incorrectly told the Commons on Wednesday that additional surge capacity for the struggling ambulance service was in place to help deal with the pressures created by the heatwave. But HSJ has learned that the contract to procure the extra resources not having been finalised.

Ms Caulfield told the House of Commons: “We have procured a contract with a total value of £30m for an auxiliary ambulance service, which will provide national surge capacity if needed to support the ambulance response during periods of increased pressure. That capacity is there, should we need it.”

She latter repeated: “We also have an auxiliary ambulance service procured should we need it.”

However, NHS England, which advertised the contract in May, confirmed to HSJ on Thursday that Ms Caulfield’s statement was “not correct” and that the contract has “is yet to be awarded”.

Full story in HSJ, 14 July 2022