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Health Secretary thanks frontline staff in first visit to ambulance service

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Victoria Atkins, thanked London Ambulance Service (LAS) staff for their hard work during a visit to the capital’s ambulance service last week (Thursday 4 January).

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins met Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles and spoke to ambulance crews across the Service

The Secretary of State took the time to meet LAS Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles and staff from across the Service to observe how they provide high-quality urgent and emergency care for Londoners.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Victoria Atkins, said: “I really enjoyed listening to the experiences of London Ambulance Service staff and seeing how innovations such as the Service’s electric ambulances are improving healthcare in our capital city.

“The ambulance clinicians and control room staff I met were all incredibly committed to providing the best care to those in need and are a true inspiration for us all. They play such a crucial role in ensuring Londoners stay healthy and I want to thank them for their hard work.”

Victoria Atkins and 999 Call Coordinator Nicole Whiteman

After being welcomed by the Chief Executive, the Health and Social Care Secretary joined call-handler Nicole Whiteman as she responded to a series of emergency calls in the Emergency Operations Centre, where thousands of 999 calls are answered every day.

Mrs Atkins was then shown how our services are co-ordinated across the capital in the Tactical Operations Centre, including the dispatch of London’s Air Ambulance.

Later on in her visit to the LAS Waterloo Headquarters, the Secretary of State heard first-hand the experiences of staff from the pioneering Mental Health Joint Response Car team and Cycle Response Unit, as well as NHS 111 advisers and Advanced Paramedic Practitioners. Staff from across the service also explained how record levels of recruitment and new initiatives to ensure teams can work more closely together are having a real impact on morale and culture in the Service.

Finally, Mrs Atkins had a chance to see the Trust’s new fleet of green vehicles, including the country’s first electric ambulance, which is set to lessen contributions to major respiratory diseases in London.

Victoria Atkins was shown the pioneering fleet of electric emergency vehicles

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive at London Ambulance Service, said: “I thank the Secretary of State for her visit and for listening to our dedicated staff as they spoke proudly about the work they do caring for the capital.

“We were also delighted to show her innovations in emergency care, including our first fully electric ambulances, which will contribute to improving air quality and reducing respiratory diseases in London.”

Victoria Atkins thanked paramedics, 999 and 111 call handlers, and mental health practitioners for their hard work
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