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.