§ Mr. Wareing
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her policy on the co-ordination of hospital planning and the provision of transport facilities for patients and their visitors; and on what grounds she would refuse an application by a health authority or hospital trust for a change in the services it offered because of such transportation considerations.
§ Mr. Sackville
Ambulance transport for national health service patients is provided, free of charge, on the basis of medical need as determined by a clinician. Patients without a medical need for transport may, exceptionally, be transported by the ambulance service, but a charge may be made. Visitors must make their own transport arrangements. There are no plans to change the basis of ambulance transport provision.