Tuesday 24 November 2020

Scrutiny calls for Wembley Ambulance Station closure to be paused and a formal statutory consultation undertaken on the plans

 Standing Orders were suspended at the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee this evening to allow for a discussion of the plans to close Wembley Ambulance Station on December 1st - next Tuesday. London Ambulance Service managers attended.

They told the Committee that Wembley was called an ambulance station but was basically a garage from which ambulance were prepared for the road. They claimed it was not fit for purpose and that the site was down for regeneration by NHS Property Services. It was not a health care setting or health care provision as such. 99% of ambulance respones were provided on the road on a 24 hour basis. The closure had made no impact on response times, which were in fact better and comfortably met targets for Grade 1 call-outs.

It had been closed since March under changes due to Covid and formal closure would take place on December 1st.

The LAS spokespeople were challenged on the lack of consultation which councillors claimed was a statutory requirement, the contradiction of saying it was already closed while also stating that it would close next week, the lack of a Equalities Impact Assessment, response times bound to be better because of lack of traffic in lockdown and the closure of Wembley Stadium, closure being nothing to do with improving the service but NHS Property cashing in on an asset, and its impact could not be considered alone as other ambulance stations in North West and West London were also earmarked for closure.

A clearly dissatisified committee recoemmnded that the formal closure should be paused and that London Ambulance Service should embark on proper statutory public engagement and consultation on the proposal.

After the meeting a member of the union told Wembley Matters that although the discussion was brief they thought it went well.

Brent Trades Council will be discussing the closure and possible action at its meeting on Wednesday November 25th.

Good to see Brent Scrutiny doing its job well.

1 comment:

Philip Grant said...


After reading about the possible closure of Wembley Ambulance Station in an earlier blog, I did email my experience and views to the London Ambulance Service "Patient Experiences" team. I have just received their reply:-

'Thank you for your email and sharing your own experience with us.

I have provided the statement issued by our Media Team with background information about the closure of Wembley Ambulance Station and do hope it may be of some help explaining why the station is closing.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said:

“We have been informed by the Landlord that the lease on Wembley Ambulance Station, which is not fit for purpose after damage from widespread flooding, will not be extended.

“The safety and care of our patients is our highest priority. Our service model means vehicles, including ambulances, very rarely respond to patients directly from ambulance stations and this does not impact on our response times.

“Since the start of the pandemic Wembley Ambulance Station staff and volunteers have been working out of Kenton Ambulance Station. This has allowed us to better prepare and restock vehicles, support crews, and ensure PPE was better distributed to keep our staff and volunteers safe.”

The background information says:

Wembley Ambulance Station is a leased property and our Landlord has advised LAS that the lease will not be renegotiated or extended. As a consequence, LAS will have to vacate the premises on or before Thursday, 1st April 2021.

After our Wembley crews started working out of Kenton Ambulance Station at the start of the pandemic, widespread flooding was reported at Wembley Ambulance Station. As the Landlord advised the current lease will not be extended, it was deemed as prohibitively costly to commence repairs. We have agreed to the request of the Landlord to vacate the property at an earlier date of the 1st December 2020; permanently relocating Wembley Ambulance Station’s staff, volunteers and vehicles to Kenton Ambulance Station.

To help with our response to Covid-19, since the start of the pandemic we have temporarily moved staff and our volunteers from smaller stations into larger ones, like Kenton Ambulance Station. This has enabled us to better prepare and restock vehicles, support crews, and ensure PPE was better distributed to keep our staff and volunteers safe.

We work closely with local authorities and other local stakeholders on the work to improve our services. While we are not required to formally consult on station closures we regularly engage with the local stakeholders and have written to the council to inform them of the planned closure of Wembley Ambulance Station.

We currently have no plans to close Camden, Islington and Hackney.