The London Assembly has announced a new investigation into the operational and financial performance of the London Ambulance Service and its relationship with City Hall.
The service, currently an NHS Trust, could become a Foundation Trust with greater independence under measures contained in the Government’s recent NHS White Paper.
Assembly Members have previously proposed to Ministers that the Service, which has seen 999 call levels increase by almost a third in recent years, be accountable to the Mayor who already has input into the capital’s Police and Fire services.
James Cleverly AM, Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee, said: “People rely on the London Ambulance Service and are calling on it more and more. So we need to be sure that, at a time of significant operational and organisational challenges, Londoners can continue to count on this vital service when they need it.”
The investigation will consider the following questions:
- How well is the LAS currently performing, and how can performance be further improved?
- How can the increasing demand for the services of the LAS be managed?
- What services should be provided by the LAS?
- What are the implications of the LAS becoming a Foundation Trust?
- What are the implications of the move from Primary Care Trust to GP commissioning of ambulance services?
- What should be the relationship between the Mayor and the LAS?
The Committee will hold public meetings on 17 March and 6 April 2011 and a full report will be published in the summer.