Trade union groups in Brent have urged the local NHS to maintain an ambulance station that is set to close on Tuesday.
Brent Trades Council launched a petition aimed at Garrett Emerson, chief executive of London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, calling for Wembley Ambulance Station, in Chaplin Road, Wembley, to remain open.
It argues the closure of the site would create a “gulf” in services in parts of the borough, particularly on event days at Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.
The group also suggested the timing of the proposed closure would add to issues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Brent among the hardest hit areas in the country, and winter pressures.
At a Brent Council community and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting last week, Khadir Meer, chief operating officer at LAS, explained Wembley services have been operating out of Kenton Ambulance Station since March.
And Pauline Cranmer, director of ambulance services at LAS, said the level of service has been maintained despite this change.
However, Ketan Sheth, chairman of the scrutiny committee, questioned why the council had received news of the closure so late and called for greater consultation with the community.
This is a point emphasised by the Trades Council, which has called for Brent residents to be “fully consulted on the future of the service”.
According to LAS, the lease for the site ends at the end of the financial year, but it has been asked to vacate by NHS Property Services (NHSPS) on 1 December.
A spokeswoman for NHSPS explained that the Wembley site is “unsuitable as part of a modern ambulance service” as it can only house one vehicle.
She added land to the east of the station will be sold off after it was deemed “surplus” by Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, with any funds “reinvested directly into the NHS”.