Four ambulance stations in north-east London – Romford, Ilford, Hornchurch and Becontree – have already been earmarked for closure in the first stage of the plan. They will be replaced by one new ambulance deployment centre in Romford in Havering.1
If all trusts implement the practice of the best, the scope for greater productivity is around £200 million by 2021.2
Havering’s the test bed of the reorganisation of London’s ambulance service following Lord Carter’s review. His review was embraced by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) in 20183 with ‘hubs’ the first of which will be in Romford. Lord Carter’s survey found great differences between ambulance services. He created a ‘Top Down’ package of solutions. LAS comment,
“we plan to transform our estate to better serve our patients and to improve our staff and volunteers’ places of work. This will also reduce our costs and be better for the environment.” (my emphasis)
The reduction of costs is LAS’s principal motivation with anything else a bonus.
Political context matters. The government’s Levelling Up policy is led by two multi-millionaires. They’re former Hedge Fund manager Rishi Sunak (Chancellor) and former Deutsche Bank managing director Sajid Javid (Health). Both regard the NHS as Socialism. LAS savings will be sent to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, the worst service in England.
The LAS over-achieves in bombastic self-regard,
In focusing on providing the best possible working environment for our staff and volunteers through these changes, we hope this will enable us to achieve our vision of being a first-class employer and a world class ambulance service for our patients across London. (my emphasis)
We’ve heard it all before and there’s a credibility gap as big as the Grand Canyon to overcome.
2 Lord Carter’s review of ambulance services in England Operational_productivity_and_performance_NHS_Ambulance_Trusts_final.pdf (england.nhs.uk)
Cost of the English ambulance service £1.78bn NHS Ambulance Services (nao.org.uk)