London Ambulance Service

  1. LAS abuse: 'It happens every single day'

    Amy

    Verbal abuse against London's ambulance workers has increased this year, official figures show.

    London Ambulance Service recorded an average of two incidents of verbal abuse against staff a day in the year up to August - a 6% increase compared to last year.

    "Sometimes it can feel personal – the things people say can be really hurtful," says Amy, an emergency call co-ordinator.

    "All you want to do is help them and you're being called every name under the sun," she told the BBC.

    "It happens every day in the control room. You can always hear people having some difficult calls around the room where they’re trying to maintain the call and people are being abusive.”

    Since January, 395 London ambulance staff have been physically assaulted.

    The rate of physical assaults against ambulance workers is only slightly lower than last year, despite lockdown rules.

    London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson said: “Whilst the vast majority of our callers and patients are extremely courteous towards our staff, abuse – either verbal or physical – is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it."

    Rate of verbal assaults on LAS workers
  2. New ambulance training centre opened in Barking

    Sadiq Khan inside training centre

    Sadiq Khan has formally opened a new London Ambulance Service training centre in east London.

    The new centre in Barking will help London Ambulance Service build a greater capacity to take calls as well as enhancing the NHS 111 service for east London.

    The mayor said it would "will help boost the number of emergency call handlers in the months ahead, making it easier for Londoners to access urgent and emergency care".

    Garrett Emmerson, London Ambulance Service's chief executive, described the centre as "a great illustration of how we have scaled up operations to meet the pressure created by the coronavirus pandemic".

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.

    One is a paramedic and the other is a firefighter. Now the two are joining together in the fight against coronavirus.

  4. Brothers in arms: Siblings fighting on the coronavirus frontline

    BBC London

    Video content

    Video caption: Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.

    Two brothers have come together to help on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, working side by side.

    Tom is a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and Jack is a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service (LAS).

    Tom says: “I thought it was an opportunity I really couldn’t turn down.”

    Film by Gem O'Reilly

  5. Coronavirus: Brothers fighting on the front line

    Video content

    Video caption: Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.

    One is a paramedic and the other is a firefighter. Now the two are joining together in the fight against coronavirus.

  6. Crystal Palace FC tribute to paramedic

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC News

    Earlier today we wrote about the tragic death of London paramedic Ian Reynolds.

    Selhurst Park football ground

    For the last eight years Ian also worked as a member of the Crystal Palace Football Club pitch-side medical team with the club paying tribute to him as a "much-loved colleague" and friend.

    Colleague Dr Amir Pakravan said: "As a person, he was the best friend you could wish for, always smiling, calm and easy-going and an avid Palace fan.

    "As a colleague, he was extremely professional, reliable, approachable, highly experienced and knowledgeable, and always ready to help. He was the complete package and an absolute joy to work with."

    He is survived by his wife and two sons, one of whom, Jack, also works as a member of the Selhurst Park stretcher crew.

    Dr Pakravan said: "Our pitch-side medical team will not be the same without Ian.

    "The thoughts of everyone at Crystal Palace FC are with his family and friends.

    Mr Reynolds had worked at New Addington, where he also served as an active Unison rep, as well the principal liaison between the London Ambulance Service and all the Croydon care homes.

  7. Third London ambulance member dies of Covid-19

    The death of a third London Ambulance Service (LAS) worker from coronavirus has been described as "heartbreaking" by the emergency service's chief.

    Paramedic Ian Reynolds with his wife Sian
    Image caption: Paramedic Ian Reynolds with his wife Sian

    Paramedic Ian Reynolds who had been with the service 32 years was based at New Addington in south London and fell ill with Covid-19 last month.

    A LAS spokesman described him as: "A wise, experienced and popular man, he had time for everybody and could relate to his colleagues, members and patients alike – regardless of their background or identity – with an ease that endeared him to everyone he came across.

    "He will be deeply missed by his union comrades, his Croydon ambulance family, his boys Jack and Ben (of whom he was immeasurably proud) and his wife Sian, whom he loved with all his heart.

    "Ian Reynolds had been working in a supporting role in recent weeks.

    "Sadly this is the third member of staff we have lost in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, we lost a very long-serving manager in our Bow office, Gordon Ballard, who had given 42 years of service to the LAS and was loved right across the organisation.

    "Then last week we lost Melonie Mitchell who was a service adviser in our 111 service in Barking giving 111 advice over the phone.

    "They were all making fantastic individual contributions to the huge life-saving effort the organisation is making at this time.

    "We are all devastated to be losing people we have known and loved and worked with for many years."

  8. Firefighters train at Wembley to help ambulance staff

    Members of the London Fire Brigade have undergone training at Wembley Stadium to help their blue light colleagues during the Covid-19 crisis

    View more on twitter

    The new plan follows a national agreement last week between the National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council and the Fire Brigades Union to support local authorities and the NHS, including ambulance services.

    Chief executive of LAS, Garrett Emmerson said: “We have a fantastic ongoing relationship with London Fire Brigade and regularly collaborate closely in a number of ways.

    “We are already dealing with unprecedented levels of demand as a result of Covid-19 – more than 11,000 people are calling 999 for an ambulance every day – and we know the peak of the pandemic is still to come.

    "As part of our preparations we must reach out to all our partners to help boost our response so we can continue to treat every patient who needs us during this difficult time.”

  9. New teams respond to Covid-19 deaths in the community

    LAS

    New specialist teams are being trained to respond to suspected Covid-19 deaths in the community across London.

    The teams – made up of police officers, fire and health services staff – will confirm the deceased’s identity and establish there are no suspicious circumstances.

    They will also prepare the deceased to be collected by an undertaker to take them to a funeral home or mortuary, until arrangements can be made for burial or cremation.

    The aim of the new units, called Pandemic Multiagency Response Teams (PMART), is to ensure a safe response to Covid-19 deaths that may occur in the community at home, in a care home or hospice and to help reduce demand on the London Ambulance Service (LAS), enabling them to prioritise emergency cases.

    Quote Message: These new teams will play a key role in helping ease pressure on the London Ambulance Service to allow them to concentrate on treating new emergency cases. At the same time, they will be helping provide families and loved ones with advice and assistance in the most exceptionally distressing circumstances. London’s emergency services, local authorities and other critical public and private sector partners are working resolutely to tackle the impact of the virus in the capital. We need Londoners to continue to play their part by staying at home, helping us to protect frontline services and save lives." from Eleanor Kelly Deputy Chair of London’s Strategic Coordination Group
    Eleanor KellyDeputy Chair of London’s Strategic Coordination Group
  10. Firefighters to drive ambulances to help virus response

    London ambulance

    Some 300 London Fire Brigade (LFB) staff are to join up with London's ambulance crews to boost emergency responses during the coronavirus pandemic, it has been announced.

    Under the agreement between the Brigade and London Ambulance Service (LAS), firefighters will assist paramedics through tasks such as driving ambulances to emergency situations.

    LAS's Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson said the service were "already dealing with unprecedented levels of demand as a result of Covid-19 – more than 11,000 people are calling 999 for an ambulance every day – and we know the peak of the pandemic is still to come.

    "As part of our preparations we must reach out to all our partners to help boost our response so we can continue to treat every patient who needs us during this difficult time.”

    Andy Roe, LFB's commissioner, said "hundreds of firefighters" had already "stepped forward to volunteer" to support ambulance crews.

  11. Paramedics have enough safety equipment - LAS

    Sarah Lee

    BBC London

    LAS

    The chief executive of London Ambulance Service has said paramedics do have enough safety equipment.

    Garrett Emmerson said: “We have enough equipment and the challenge has been to make sure we stay in that position and that we can get supplies and we keep supplies not only arriving here for us to use, but also to distribute out across our ambulance stations and get them on to ambulances.”

    He added: “It’s another part of the logistical challenge to make sure we can keep all of the equipment, not only PPE but medical equipment and our vehicles on the road.”

  12. AA mechanics help double London's ambulance fleet

    Karl Mercer

    Political reporter, BBC London

    LAS mechanic

    With coronavirus calls expected to surge in the next week in the capital the London Ambulance Service (LAS) is expecting to double the amount of trucks on the road.

    It follows an appeal by the AA which asked for mechanics to volunteer their time to help repair ambulances.

    "We put out this call to help the London Ambulance Service and we had loads of volunteers rushing to be part of it," the AA's Edmund King told BBC London.

    Forty-one people have signed up to volunteer which the London Ambulance Service say will increase the amount of trucks on the road to more than 600.

  13. London ambulance service receives record calls

    The London Ambulance Service says the last three days have been the busiest in the service's history.

    London Ambulance

    Chief Executive Garret Emmerson said it had received more than 8,000 calls a day, compared to an average 5,000.

    Mr Emmerson thanked staff for working so hard and urged Londoners not to call 999 unless they had life-threatening concerns.