Ambulance deployment centre planned for Romford

Ambulance stations in Romford, Ilford, Becontree and Hornchurch look set to be replaced by a larger station in Havering.

The London Ambulance Service plans to replace all 68 existing stations across the city with 18 “Ambulance Deployment Centres” to ensure the service is “fit for the modern 21st Century”.

The LAS has selected a site in Romford for the new deployment centre and is in discussion with the council about planning permission.

In a letter to Havering Council, LAS CEO Khadir Meer insisted that the relocation will have “no impact on the provision of services” to Havering patients.

His letter, sent on June 7, reads: “The population around the Romford area is predicted to have the largest population growth in London, and our current estate will not be fit for purpose to respond to their needs.

“This change will not adversely affect patients in the area. It will instead transform the way we work to ensure we deliver consistent high quality care to our patients when they need us.

“Of the 36,626 incidents attended in Havering in 2019, only 26 per cent received a response directly from an ambulance station, with 17 per cent of these coming from the Romford ambulance station vicinity only.”

He noted that, due to COVID, Romford’s staff and volunteers had “already been temporarily working from the larger and better equipped Ilford ambulance station” since last summer.

He also reassured the council that there will be “no job losses” as a result of these closures, with all staff transferred to the new centre. 

Romford’s current ambulance station is within the Bridge Close regeneration site, meaning a new location is “urgently needed”.

The letter from the LAS will be discussed by Havering Council’s health and wellbeing board at a meeting on Wednesday, June 23.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter