The London Assembly has called for greater co-operation between the London Ambulance Service and City Hall, including exploring the merging of fire and ambulance stations.
Although the capital’s fire and police services are part of the Greater London Authority, the Ambulance Service is operated by an NHS Trust, outside of City Hall’s control.
In April Ambulance bosses announced the axing of 900 jobs, including 560 posts “responsible for direct patient care”, as part of a five year cost-cutting plan.
The Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee has rejected giving the Mayor full control over the LAS, a move the Mayor’s office and Service say would “weaken” its relationship with the NHs.
However it calls for the LAS to work more closely with the police, fire and transport services to ensure services are not adversely impacted by the budget cuts.
Suggestions include joint procurement of uniforms and services and paramedics joining police patrols to attend to road traffic accidents.
The LAS has also suggested the Mayor could appoint one of its new Council of Governors, giving City Hall a voice in the service’s oversight.
Assembly Members say the Council should also include representatives from Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade.
Committee Victoria Borwick: “The London Ambulance Service provides a good service for Londoners, but it is facing enormous change – demand is growing, it is losing staff as it deals with funding cuts, and the NHS is undergoing major commissioning reforms.
“If it is going to continue to perform well in the face of such challenges, the organisation needs to find new and closer ways of working with London’s police, fire and transport services, as well as other parts of the NHS.”