Who’s going to save the emergency services?

Assembly Member Murad Qureshi asked the Mayor if he had made any representations to the on the impact on Londoners of cuts to the London Ambulance Service?

The Mayor refused to commit his support despite his direct role in the London Health Improvement Board and health inequalities in the capital.

The Mayor was challenged over his failure to speak up for the NHS in <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place> and protect A&E departments from closure. Despite repeatedly campaigning for tax cuts for millionaires the Mayor has refused to lobby government to keep A&E units open as he says it is outside of his remit.

The London Ambulance Service is losing £53 million ““ 19% of its budget by 2015/16. The current plans are to cut 890 of the 5,000 jobs at the LAS, of which 560 will be frontline staff. This will likely be achieved by natural turnover, which will lead to many posts being unfilled. Last year the LAS dealt with 1.6 million calls in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>.

The Mayor of London was also challenged on:

·         The London Fire Brigade is facing the loss of up to 30 stations, 30 appliances and hundreds of firefighters

·         The Metropolitan Police have already lost 1,444 police officers and 1,960 PCSOs in the past two years. With a £230million budget black-hole this will increase

·         <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place> is set to lose 7 of it’s 31 A&E departments, leaving the remaining 24 to cover an extra 120,000 residents each.

Local <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place> Assembly Member, Murad Qureshi, said:

“While the A&Es are being cut, no provisions have been made for the vast increase in ambulance journeys which will undoubtedly be made. It’s only a matter of time when these cuts take hold that tragedies will happen.

We are dismayed by the way the mayor has disenfranchised the residents and stakeholders in <city w:st=”on”>London</city> on the matter of NHS changes and A&E closures in <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place>. At Mayor’s Question Time Boris denied any responsibility or support for the hundreds and thousands of residents who are campaigning and genuinely concerned about the closure of the A&Es in their area.

“<city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s emergency services are facing a crisis, the police, fire brigade, ambulance and A&E departments are all being cut back. This will leave <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> with less blue-light coverage. At a time when <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s emergency services are already stretched this simply does not make sense. <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s population is also forecast to grow to 9 million people – how will the emergency services cope?

“Our emergency services and their dedicated staff do a fantastic job keeping us safe and helping us when we are at our most vulnerable. The government are cutting too far and too fast, fundamentally undermining the emergency services ability to do their job. It’s time that the Mayor stood up for Londoners and got a better deal from central government.”

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Notes

1. Murad Qureshi is a London-wide Assembly Member and City Hall spokesperson for Health.  

2. You can watch Mayor’s Question Time from Wednesday 17 October 2012 here http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts

3. Photo attached available for use. Murad Qureshi AM with Save Our Hospital demonstrators outside City Hall on Wednesday 17 October 2012.

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