Figures show ‘worrying’ rise in ambulance running costs | UK | News | Express.co.uk
Ambulance services are set to spend more than £72 million on fuel and insurance this year, up more than £10 million in five years.
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Ambulances parked outside London Ambulance Service NHS Trust control room in Waterloo (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)
Figures for nine ambulance services show insurance costs had spiked by 56%, going from £10.96 million in 2018/19 to a projected £17.14 million in 2023/24.
Volatility in the price of fuel has also seen expenditure go up by almost £4.5 million over the same period, from £50.94 million to £55.38 million.
The figures were compiled in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by the Liberal Democrats, who are calling for emergency service vehicles to be given discounted rates on fuel.
This could be funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas firms, the party suggested.
Lib Dem health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said: “Our ambulance services are being pushed to the brink by this Conservative government’s mismanagement of our economy.”
She said the figures “paint a worrying picture of just how stretched our health service budgets are” in a winter “that promises to be extremely challenging”.
“We need to get our ambulance services the support they need. That means reducing their fuel bills through a proper windfall tax on the oil and gas giants.”
The Lib Dems received responses from the trusts responsible for ambulance services in South East Coast, South Central, East Midlands, London, North West, Scotland, Wales, East of England and the Isle of Wight.
The trust covering the West Midlands responded with data for previous years but not a projection for 2023/24 expenditure.
Lib Dem analysis of the figures, shared with the PA news agency, showed the East of England Ambulance Trust is forced to pay the most to keep their ambulances on the road with a projected £11.45 million being spent on insurance and fuel for 2023/202, up on 2018/2019’s figure of £10.01 million.
The biggest increase in costs has been seen in the south west, where expenditure increased from £8.44 million to a forecast £10.65 million.
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