There now follows the text of the Point of Order made to the Speaker by
Michael Fabricant yesterday.
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
As you may know, all 12 Members of Parliament in Staffordshire-Labour
and Conservative-oppose the merger of the Staffordshire ambulance
service with the West Midlands ambulance service.
Last week, the Secretary of State for Health wrote to all Members of
Parliament. In her note, she said that the Staffordshire ambulance
service would be reprieved from the merger for ‘up to 24 months’. When
the Minister of State, Department of Health, the hon. Member for Leigh
(Andy Burnham), made his statement in the House he was questioned
closely about the matter, but he neither confirmed nor denied that the
merger would take place within 24 months. Now we hear that there may
have been a drafting error in the Secretary of State’s letter, which is
causing great confusion among Members and people who work in the
ambulance service. This is more of a shambles than at the Home Office,
and that is saying something.
Is it possible, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister or the Secretary of State
to make a written statement before the recess to clarify once and for
all whether the Staffordshire ambulance service is to be merged with the
West Midlands service?
Mr. Speaker: The appropriate Minister will have heard what the hon.
Gentleman has just said. There is nothing to stop him tabling a
parliamentary question to seek clarification of the matter-as he has
already done-and perhaps after the recess week the hon. Gentleman might
apply for an Adjournment debate.
Michael Fabricant now says: "My Point of Order will have been picked up
by the Department of Health and I hope they will clarify the situation
before Thursday. I have also tabled parliamentary questions on this
matter which are due for answer on Wednesday. This uncertainty will be
lowering morale among ambulance workers, paramedic teams, and community
first responders in Staffordshire and needs to be resolved quickly."