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St John Ambulance under EU threat

April 26th, 2002

Western Morning News, 26 April 2002, p 22
St John Ambulance is facing a financial crisis as a new European regulation will force them to replace their emergency vehicles within the next 18 months. … The introduction of the new EU directive will mean huge costs for the organisation as it attempts to comply with them, placing a huge financial burden on its resources.

There is no EU legislation that will force St John Ambulance or the National Health Service to replace their emergency vehicles. This was confirmed as long ago as 25 May 2000 by Gisela Stuart MP, the then junior health minister, in a written answer to Sir Teddy Taylor MP.

‘Following a period of consultation with manufacturers and users, two new European standards for ambulance vehicles and their equipment were recommended by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) in August and September (1999). Membership of CEN is wider than EU Member States and their recommendations have force only through the Public Procurement Legislative Programme. The object of this programme is to reduce technical barriers to trade throughout the European Free Trade Area. The British Standards Institute adopted the CEN recommendations as national standards in January 2000 but these will only apply to new ambulance vehicles and their equipment purchased after that date.’

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