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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