The Ilford South MP has sought reassurances that plans to close a local ambulance station will not negatively impact services to the area.

Sam Tarry warned that longer waiting times would be unacceptable after the London Ambulance Service (LAS) last week announced its intention to replace four east London stations with a single ambulance deployment centre.

Mr Tarry said: "Any changes to our local ambulance service that results in a downgrading of provision to Ilford residents and longer waiting times, especially in such a traffic-congested area, is completely unacceptable.

"I will be seeking reassurances from LAS that this will not be the case if Ilford’s ambulance station were to shut, when it’s currently successfully operating and supporting staff from Romford and surrounding areas.”

Ambulance bases in Romford, Ilford, Becontree and Hornchurch will all close permanently as soon as the new ambulance centre is up and running.

The closures are part of LAS’ plans to replace 68 existing stations across the capital with 18 ambulance deployment centres in a bid to modernise their service.

The LAS has selected a site in Romford for the new deployment centre and is seeking planning permission from Barking and Dagenham Council.

It has emphasised that there will be no job losses as a result of the change, and that the new sites would be equipped with modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for maintaining vehicles and ensuring the wellbeing of staff and volunteers.

A LAS spokesperson said: “These exciting plans are part of a wider transformation programme to improve the working environment for our staff and volunteers, and in turn improve the care we deliver to Londoners in need.  

"We want to reassure local residents and our patients that our response times will not be affected.

“Our crews are rarely dispatched directly from ambulance stations in the majority of cases, and as ever, we will prioritise our response to the sickest and most seriously injured patients.

 “We are looking forward to working with our partners, local people and communities, staff and volunteers as we take the next steps in developing an ambulance service fit for the future.”