MPs 'to monitor' impact of ambulance station closures
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MPs are seeking assurances that the planned closure of four east London ambulance stations, including Becontree, will not impact response times.
London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirmed that four stations across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge will be closed and replaced by a single deployment centre.
LAS has earmarked a site in Romford for the centralisation and once it is up and running, the existing stations in Becontree, Hornchurch, Ilford and Romford will permanently close.
In response to the plans, Barking MP Margaret Hodge: “I am disappointed to see that the LAS base is moving out of Becontree.
“I will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that emergency service response times for residents in Barking and Dagenham do not suffer as a result of this move.
“Every member of our community deserves the best quality of emergency services.”
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The closures are part of a move by LAS to replace its 68 existing stations across London with 18 ambulance deployment centres.
In a letter to Havering Council about the plans, chief operating officer Khadir Meer said: "This change will not adversely affect patients in the area.
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“It will instead transform the way we work to ensure we deliver consistent high-quality care to our patients when they need us.”
He also stated there will be no job losses as a result of the closures, with all staff to be transferred to the new centre.
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said: “The loss of an ambulance base at Becontree does raise concerns about response times across the Dagenham part of my constituency.
“Whilst I understand the need for consolidating existing facilities, I will be seeking assurances from the LAS that this will not negatively impact those requiring urgent attention across Dagenham and Rainham.
“The fact that the LAS has stated no jobs are at risk suggests that this is not a reduction in services but I will investigate this further."
Last week, some Post readers raised concerns about the potential impact of the closures on patients and response times.