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London Ambulance Service

London hospitals make plans for the Olympics

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Hospitals in London are considering reorganising surgery timetables, changing shift patterns and moving delivery times to accommodate the Olympics this summer.

At a meeting of the Greater London Assembly’s health and public services committee NHS London director of public health Simon Tanner said hospitals were looking “very closely” at rotas, and considering more creative ways of working, including taking deliveries at night.

“This has been taken seriously right from the start – the movement of people and supplies is one of the [biggest] issues… There has to be a whole different planning of the way in which the health service works,” he added.

Hospitals will take decisions locally but will be expected to maintain the usual high level of perfromance during the games, Dr Tanner said.

His comments came during a session examining the preparedness of London’s emergency services for the Olympics.

London Ambulance Service’s deputy director of operations Jason Killens told the committee during the games period the service would have an additional 70 ambulances and an extra 200 drafted in from other NHS ambulance services.

Asked about the impact of the “games lanes” that will only be open to VIPs connected with the games, Mr Killens said agreement had almost been reached with Transport for London to get the access the service needed.

Dr Tanner said there had been requests from other organisations around the transport of blood and organs.

He added: “It’s really important that we do take a very hard look really is an emergency and what is about convenience.”

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