We looked into the London Ambulance Service after receiving concerns from members of the public.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) in the BHR area ( Barking & Dagenham Havering and Redbridge) currently has over 165 frontline staff across several shift patterns.
Although the cover varies across days of the week (based on historical/planning data), as an average there are:
- 15 early (6am-4pm) ambulances and 5 fast response cars,
- 6 late (2pm-10pm) ambulances and 2 fast response cars and
- 8 night (10pm-6am) ambulances and 3 fast response cars.
During our enquiry we found the following themes:
- There is a difference in views between the managers and the staff within the London Ambulance Service.
- The effectiveness of NHS 111 is disputed by staff. However, Healthwatch is not in a place to comment on the service as we were not given any official figures from the PELC.
- The general feeling is that the LAS service is good. A minority of people complain and when so, service users are generally unhappy with the waiting time. However, there seems to be a misunderstanding about what a life-threatening emergency really is.
- Barking and Dagenham has a growing population with high health needs.
- Transfer times from an ambulance to A&E are problematic at local hospitals and a cause of frustration for the staff.