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Your spotlight on local services

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.


Date published: 
Saturday, 2 May, 2015 - 13:30
Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS