HC Deb 26 February 1997 vol 291 cc229-31W
Mr. Chisholm

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in respect of the Scottish ambulance service management training courses at Barony castle,(a) how many people have participated in the courses, (b) what guidelines are issued to those participating, (c) what provision there is for opting out of courses or part of courses and (d) what equipment is available in the event of medical emergencies. [17134]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The information requested is as follows:

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

In-patient admissions with a main diagnosis of cold-related illness—influenza, pneumonia and bronchitis—for the months of December to February and for the rest of each of the past 10 years are given in the table, together with the ratio of the December to February figures to the three-monthly average for the rest of the year. Information on out-patients is not held centrally.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Information on in-patient admissions with a main diagnosis of cold-related illness—influenza, pneumonia or bronchitis—for December 1996 to January 1997 is not yet available. The table provides information for the 10 year period to January 1996. Information on out-patients is not held centrally.

  1. (a) Forty-two operational managers have completed 10 or 12-day classroom-based management training courses, which include a two-day outdoor module; a further 20 operational managers participated in the most recent course, which was suspended on 15 February.
  2. (b) Course participants receive a comprehensive two-hour briefing for the two-day outdoor module. This includes guidance on safety, communication arrangements, map reading skills and the country code.
  3. (c) The Scottish Ambulance Service NHS Trust attaches the highest priority to the need for formal management training where previously there was none. Accordingly, it would normally expect operational ambulance managers to take part in its management training programme. The leadership element of the course was designed by external consultants 231 to be physically achievable, even by those of moderate fitness. Despite this, students are encouraged to express any doubts or concerns they may have about participating in the outdoor activities and there have been occasions when alternative arrangements have been made at the request of individuals unable to complete this element of the course.
  4. (d) During the outdoor module each of the walking groups is accompanied by a safety supervisor who has a first aid kit consisting of dressings and plasters, a walkie-talkie radio, mobile phone, flares, strobe light and portable cooker. Every member of each group is also equipped with various items of survival equipment. The groups use as a base a cottage equipped with modern amenities and a patient transport vehicle carrying emergency response equipment and drugs, a stretcher and blankets. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is also available at the cottage.

The trust has suspended the course and is carrying out a full review of it, in light of the death of one of the participants on 15 February.

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