IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Bin the closure plan for London ambulance stations

12 November, 2021

‘Londoners depend on a high-quality ambulance service’ [HTUK Wikimedia Commons]

• LIKE many others, I was relieved to hear that the new chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, Daniel Elkeles, has shelved plans to close all 68 of London’s ambulance stations, which it was threatened would be replaced by 18 new “hubs”.

Furthermore he has promised that no stations would be sold off until a future plan was agreed. The last thing that any part of the National Health Service needs right now is yet another reorganisation.

The last two reorganisations, under Andrew Lansley followed by Jeremy Hunt, managed only to reduce the service for patients while demoralising the staff. Of Matt Hancock’s time in the job, probably the least said the better.

Sajid Javid is still too new to judge, but he hardly covered himself in glory by refusing to bring in much-needed additional measures, or “plan B”, to combat Covid-19.

We now need to make sure that the closure plan for London ambulance stations is not only shelved but binned. Londoners depend on a high-quality ambulance service.

It’s up to us and our elected representatives to maintain the pressure to protect it and the London Ambulance Service to reach out to people in the capital with any new plans and listen to what they have to say.

DAVID BREWERTON
Islington Green Party

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