'Large risk' to Guernsey's ambulance service

Guernsey ambulance
Image caption The contract, which is for up to four years including greater States oversight of the service

There was a "very large risk" Guernsey's ambulance service would have ceased to function, the island's chief minister has said.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq was commenting on a move by an emergency panel to agree a new contract with St John Ambulance and Rescue.

Details of the deal were initially kept secret, but some have since been released such as the £2.6m annual cost.

Mr Le Tocq said the States had provided extra funding on previous occasions.

Need for change

He said: "There was a very large risk that St John's - financially and in terms of its administration - would have been insolent [and] couldn't have continued.

"It's well known the States have had to step in [on] a few occasions in recent years to give them extra resources to purchase ambulances, etc.

"There's quite a need - and the board of St John recognise - for a change of structure."

The Civil Contingences Authority stepped in to take over the negotiations from the Health and Social Services Department, which pays for the ambulance service from its budget.

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