FOI request detail

Collapse and ambulance attendances on the London Underground

Request ID: FOI-2552-1819
Date published: 25 January 2019

You asked

Would you be able to kindly provide data on the following: 1. In 2018, on how many occasions did a passenger on the London Underground require medical assistance from the London Ambulance Service (or affiliated services e.g. HEMS). 2. Of these attendances, what were the 10 most common causes necessitating medical assistance, by percentage (e.g. collapse, intoxication, etc). 3. In cases requiring on-scene assistance, what was the average time taken between ambulance request by control and on-scene attendance by responders. 4. Could you provide data on questions 1-3 for years 2017, 2016 and 2015. With kind regards

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-2552-1819

Thank you for your request received on 31 December 2018 asking for information about incidents on the London Underground that required medical assistance.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

We have estimated that it would cost over £450 to provide a response to your current request. This is because it is estimated that it would take over 18 working hours to retrieve and compile the information you have requested as this data is not recorded centrally.

We publish London Underground train delay data in our performance reports on our website:

We mobilise a response to any incident that stops a tube train in a tunnel for more than two minutes, when trains are not likely to move imminently. We also have a considerable number of staff and technical responders across the network poised to deal immediately with any ‘wheelstop’ incident. For example, there are mobile ‘blue light’ responders in police vehicles that are ready to move immediately in response to a wheelstop incident at any time.

We hold information on the number of delays that were two minutes or over recorded as ‘Customers & Public – Illness/Accident, Person Ill on Train or Station’. Please see the table below for this information:

Calendar Year Total
2015 1254
2016 1441
2017 1445
2018 1458

This central record does not contain further details regarding if medical assistance from the London Ambulance Service (or affiliated services e.g. HEMS) was required, the cause of the incident, or the average time taken between requesting the ambulance and on-scene attendance. We would need to review the record of each incident to extract this information.

We are looking at ways we can change the way we report this data and hopefully we will be able to extract this data going forward. We expect these changes to take place later this year.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by Transport for London. You should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or specific departments of TfL.

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, TfL does not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request.

Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please feel free to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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