St John is reminding islanders of the benefits of the Ambulance Subscription Scheme which provides free emergency ambulance responses, assessment and treatment by qualified clinicians for members.
St John provides the Emergency Ambulance Service on behalf of the States of Guernsey, through a contract with the Health & Social Care Committee. The contract with the States only covers a proportion of the total costs, so St John as a charity has to make up the remainder of the costs through the subscription scheme or charges.
The 2022 Ambulance Subscription Scheme will be available online from November with charges increasing to £55 for an adult, £40 for a senior citizen and £25 for a child under 18.
Anyone who isn’t a member of the subscription scheme and who doesn’t have adequate health insurance will be charged on average £390 for an emergency ambulance call.
The subscription scheme runs from January to December. Renewal emails and letters for existing members are due to be sent out in November, and anyone with an existing direct debit will automatically be renewed and does not need to take any action – unless their details have changed.
Chief Financial Officer at St John Emergency Ambulance Service Stuart Brennan said: “The 2022 ambulance cover is great value for money at £55 for an individual and £40 for a senior citizen. If for any reason you need an emergency ambulance and you don’t have cover, you can incur a charge of up to £390, so the one-off payment gives you peace of mind in the unfortunate event that you need our help.”
Mr Brennan added: “As we drew to the attention of the community around one year ago, we were enhancing our subscription system. Our new online system has allowed us to understand further the utilisation of our subscribers and unfortunately has led us to no alternative other than to increase and amend the pricing structure this year. Like all businesses, costs go up each year and therefore subscription charges also have to increase annually. Over the past few years costs have gone up disproportionally and on 2021 the Emergency Ambulance Service has seen a significant increase in demand, which has meant an increase in staff time and associated costs. The price of medical consumables, pharmaceuticals and insurance premiums have also increased significantly, in part as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, so St John needs to cover its costs to ensure we can continue to provide an excellent standard of care to islanders in their time of need. Although the subscription charges have increased, even for a family of five, the subscription costs are still cheaper than a single ambulance call out charge for one person.”
The ambulance subscription scheme entitles each Guernsey resident with a subscription to up to fifty free emergency ambulance responses, assessment and medical treatment and up to 10 non-emergency ambulance transfers under the direct instruction of a Health Care Professional. A top-up scheme is available at a discounted rate for anyone requiring additional journeys. There are no age limits or restriction on pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, if you are a Guernsey resident and a member of the Guernsey residents scheme you will be covered for the Flying Christine III marine ambulance.
The 2022 Ambulance Subscription Scheme will open in November. Anyone who is not an existing member and wishes to join the scheme will be able to do so online at subscription.stjohn.gg. A further announcement will be made to let islanders know when the scheme is open.
2022 subscription costs* are below:
Child (under 18): £25
Senior Citizen: £40
2022 Flying Christine III marine ambulance subscriptions:
Herm Residents: £80
Sark Residents: £130
(*Up to 50 ambulance responses and 10 non-emergency Patient Transport Service journeys. A discounted top-up can be purchased for additional journeys).
2022 charges for non-members are below:
Emergency Ambulance response and transfer to hospital £390
Emergency Ambulance response and discharge on scene £195
As a result of the simplified the subscription model, the pricing structure for the 2022 subscription scheme rates will now just be based on individuals, rather than couples or family groups.
Stuart Brennan added: “The idea of the simplified model is to make it as fair as possible for everyone across the board and it reflects feedback we have received from previous years. The family subscription has traditionally had the lowest number of subscribers”