Local MP Keith Hill visited the new Streatham Ambulance Station today (21 February 2006) and unveiled a commemorative plaque to declare it officially open.
The new station, built at a cost of £1.1 million, will have more capacity than its predecessor to meet the increasing demand from people who are taken seriously ill in the local area. In 2004/5, the London Ambulance Service dealt with almost 8,800 emergency calls to patients classed as being in a serious or immediately life-threatening condition in the Lambeth Primary Care Trust area. This represented an increase in demand of over five per cent on the previous year.
During his visit, Mr Hill met the local Ambulance Operations Manager Carole Livett, Assistant Director of Operations for south London Mike Boyne, Chief Executive Officer Peter Bradley, and Chairman Sigurd Reinton, before being introduced to frontline and administrative staff. He also met ‘Artist in Residence’ Stephen Chaplin whose paintings of ambulance personnel at work will adorn the walls. Mr Hill was then given a guided tour of the new station and its facilities. Local residents from Streatham were also invited to meet staff and see for themselves what the new station has to offer.
Mr Hill experienced the ‘past, present and future’ of the London Ambulance Service and saw some of the newest vehicles in the fleet including an ambulance, a fast-response car and an ex-service ambulance dating back to the 1960s, which is normally housed in the Service’s museum. He also saw the life-saving equipment carried by paramedics and emergency medical technicians: this included 12-lead electrocardiogram machines (ECGs) and defibrillators, which have played a vital role in increasing out-of-hospital survival rates from cardiac arrests in the capital.
Commenting on the opening of the new Streatham Ambulance Station, he said: “I was delighted to meet some of the staff here whose dedication to helping patients in our local community can so easily be taken for granted. Despite facing increasing 999 demand, they continue to show enthusiasm and professionalism. This new station is a credit to the NHS. The extra space it provides for emergency vehicles will help ensure that the quality of patient care continues to improve.”
Carole Livett, Ambulance Operations Manager for the St Helier complex of stations that includes Streatham Ambulance Station, said: “This new station will help us to continue to improve patient care and performance in Streatham at a time when 999 ambulance demand is continuing to rise. In 2004/5, ambulance crews attended nearly 8,800 Category A calls across Lambeth and we reached 80.8 per cent of these within eight minutes—an improvement of five per cent on the previous year.”
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