London

Inquiry into improving London Ambulance Service

London Ambulance Service
Image caption Emergency calls to the service have risen by 28% in five years

An investigation has been launched into improving London Ambulance Service.

The London Assembly wants to find out if the service can cope with future challenges as emergency calls continue to rise.

Health and Public Services Committee chairman James Cleverly said the public needed to know it could "continue to count" on the ambulance service.

The service is not accountable to London Mayor Boris Johnson unlike other emergency services.

As an NHS Trust, the service is expected to undergo changes as a result of proposed reforms set out in the government's NHS White Paper, including becoming a Foundation Trust.

In 2010, the London Assembly wrote to the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley to suggest that as part of the reforms, London Ambulance Service could come under the governance of the mayor.

The proposed reforms come at a time when it is facing a rise in demand for its services, with a 28% increase in the number of 999 calls and nearly a quarter more incidents attended since 2006.

The committee will hold public meetings on 17 March and 6 April and a full report will be published in the summer.

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