Andrew Dismore AM: Just to build on Val’s point, it is also important that we really promote first aid training in schools. I remember doing it when I was in the Sea Scouts and then, 20 years later, actually having to do it for real. It did take the ambulance some time to get there. Unfortunately, the chap died, but I did bring him back twice.
The point I wanted to make is for Ron, really, and it is what Gareth said about the police doing co-responding, which they are. I was discussing this with a senior police officer the other evening. She said that one of the problems that has arisen from this is that the LAS tends to take a back foot and police officers are then left tied up with a casualty for an hour or an hour-and-a-half. Hopefully, it would not be the case with a heart attack, but there is a risk in the system that we end up effectively looking after somebody for far longer than would be appropriate, firstly, and, secondly, tying up our own resources because the pump is off the run for anything else while that person is being attended to.
Also, I read in the Evening Standard that police cars are being used to take people to hospital. Are we going to end up with a situation where we are having to use pumps to take people to hospital because an ambulance just has not turned up? We already have queues of ambulances outside hospitals waiting to get people to accident and emergency (A&E). If we have fire engines joining the queue as well, there is going to be one hell of a traffic jam outside A&E departments, is there not?
What discussions have you had with the police about the implications for them? Effectively, although we are talking about doing a pilot ourselves, which we may or may not end up doing, at the moment the police are acting as a pilot for us and are learning some of the problems that have arisen.