The future of London’s ambulance service

Key Questions

• To examine the key challenges facing the performance of the London Ambulance Service

• To establish how the Mayor and Greater London Authority group can further support the London Ambulance Service to provide a more modern, efficient and effective emergency service for all Londoners

• To examine ways of making the ambulance service more open and accountable to the people of London

Our investigation

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is the busiest ambulance service in the country.  In 2016/17, it handled over 1.8 million emergency calls from across London and attended more than 1.1 million incidents.

For several years there have been growing concerns about its performance, which led to the LAS Trust being placed in special measures in 2015 following a Care Quality Commission review.

Unlike the other blue light services, the Mayor and GLA currently have no formal role in holding the Service to account.

The Assembly has previously called for this anomaly to be addressed; to make the Service more democratically accountable to Londoners, and to facilitate improved co-working between the LAS, the Met and London Fire Brigade.

The Health Committee is proposing to hold a series of meetings and events to find out:

1.   The views of Londoners on the performance and future for the ambulance service

2.   The views of the ambulance service senior management and key strategic partners including the Met, TfL, London Fire Brigade and the NHS.

3.   The views and experiences of frontline staff – paramedics and call centre workers.

Key areas include:

• Increased patient demand

• Performance on response times

• The potential impact of service reconfigurations

• Changes to the workforce

• Governance and accountability