West London Labour Assembly Members have hit out at Mayor Boris Johnson over ambulance service response times.
Analysis of NHS data revealed that ambulance services have failed to meet monthly target response times across west London since March 2014.
Labour Assembly Members carried out the research after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) recommended last week that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) be placed into special measures .
Dr Onkar Sahota, AM for Ealing and Hillingdon , Navin Shah , AM for Brent and Harrow and Murad Qureshi , AM for Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster , have all criticised the Mayor.
The Mayor of London was condemned by Dr Sahota for failing to lobby for better support for the LAS following government cuts.
He said: “ Boris Johnson has sat idly by and shamefully allowed the service to reach crisis point.”
Ambulances are expected to respond to the most serious incidents within 8 minutes on 75% of call outs, in line with national targets, but the LAS has failed to meet this target across the capital since April 2014.
Brent and Harrow AM, Navin Shah , said: “At a time when our capital’s resilience could be tested by anything from a deadly virus outbreak to a major terrorist incident, we need to know our ambulance service is equipped and ready to respond.
“There’s little doubt that the crisis facing our ambulance service is the culmination of years of underfunding and understaffing, which has had a worrying impact on response times in Brent and Harrow.”
Whilst historically, response times are more likely to be missed during the winter months, government cuts to the LAS in 2010 have seen a consistent rise in the number of months the Service has failed to meet the target as it struggles with inadequate levels of funding and staffing
With the LAS forced to find savings of £53m by 2015/16, average monthly response times dipped from 75% in 2010 to just 65% by 2014.
Murad Qureshi , Assembly Member for Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster , said: “Whilst we know our paramedics are incredibly hardworking and committed, the fact remains that they need to be adequately supported and resourced.
Dr Sahota thinks the the Mayor has “paid little attention to our warnings” and that London’s high cost of living and government cuts were making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain enough staff.
He added: “Instead of standing up for the needs of Londoners and lobbying for support for the LAS, Boris Johnson has sat idly by and shamefully allowed the service to reach crisis point.”
The Mayor of London's office said Boris has already discussed the issues raised within the CQC report with Dr Fionna Moore (CEO, London Ambulance Service) and Dr Anne Rainsberry (Regional Director for London, NHS England).
A spokesperson added: "The Mayor believes the capital needs a first rate ambulance service equipped to respond to the needs of Londoners. He fully recognises that the ambulance service staff do an incredible job, often in difficult circumstances, and this is acknowledged in the report.
"The Mayor is supportive of the London Ambulance Service’s plans to make the necessary improvements highlighted in the report. He will continue to seek assurances that every effort will be taken to build on the commitment of staff and that resources and support are in place and properly managed, to ensure the service is fit for the 21st century.”