Supplementary Memorandum submitted from
the Ambulance Service Association (26 April 2002)|
Letter from the Chief Executive of the
Ambulance Service Association to the Chairman of the Committee
(26 April 2002)
When Gron Roberts, the ASA President, and Peter
Bradley gave evidence to your Committee on 17 April you asked
them for comments on the recently published NAO report on Airwave.
In particular you asked for comments on the issues the report
raised about interoperability of communication systems between
the three emergency services following the decision to have separate
We have now had the opportunity to look at the
report and to discuss it with colleagues in ambulance trusts and
elsewhere in the NHS. We do not take the view that the report
highlights major problems with interoperability for the three
The ASA remains committed to a system that offers
full interoperability. This need has been included in the User
Requirement Specification that has been drawn up through consultation
between Ambulance Service Trusts, the NHS Information Authority
and the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency and will form the basis
of the technical specification for the procurement that we hope
will start shortly.
We have also agreed with colleagues from the
police service, represented by ACPO, and the fire service, represented
by CACFOA, an interoperability agreement that will meet all foreseeable
operational requirements of the NHS ambulance service. This is
also being incorporated into the specification.
I hope this allays the concerns expressed by
you and your colleagues last week.