Ambulance stations to close and be replaced by single centre, LAS reveals
Victoria Munro, LDRS
- Credit: Google
Four ambulance stations in east London are set to close and be replaced by a single centre.
London Ambulance Service (LAS) chief operating officer Khadir Meer confirmed in a letter to Havering Council that ambulance bases in Romford, Ilford, Becontree and Hornchurch will be replaced by an ambulance deployment centre.
He said that once the new ambulance centre is up and running, the four stations will permanently close.
The LAS is bidding to replace its 68 existing stations across the capital with 18 ambulance deployment centres to ensure the service is “fit for the modern 21st century”.
Mr Meer revealed the LAS has selected a site in Romford for the new deployment centre and is in discussion with Barking and Dagenham Council about planning permission.
In a letter to Havering Council, he said that the relocation will have “no impact on the provision of services” to Havering patients.
“The population around the Romford area is predicted to have the largest population growth in London, and our current estate will not be fit for purpose to respond to their needs," Mr Meer wrote.
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“This change will not adversely affect patients in the area. It will instead transform the way we work to ensure we deliver consistent high quality care to our patients when they need us.
“Of the 36,626 incidents attended in Havering in 2019, only 26 per cent received a response directly from an ambulance station, with 17 per cent of these coming from the Romford ambulance station vicinity only.”
He noted that, due to Covid, Romford’s staff and volunteers had “already been temporarily working from the larger and better equipped Ilford ambulance station” since last summer.
He also reassured the council that there will be “no job losses” as a result of the closures, with all staff transferred to the new centre.
Romford’s current ambulance station is within the Bridge Close regeneration site, meaning a new location is “urgently needed”.
The letter from the LAS will be discussed by Havering Council’s health and wellbeing board at a meeting on Wednesday, June 23.