Trade union groups in Brent have urged the local NHS to maintain an ambulance station that is set to close tomorrow (December 1).

Brent Trades Council launched a petition aimed at Garrett Emerson, chief executive of London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, calling for Wembley Ambulance Station, in Chaplin Road, Wembley, to remain open.

It argues the closure of the site would create a “gulf” in services in parts of the borough, particularly on event days at Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.

The group also suggested the timing of the proposed closure would add to issues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Brent among the hardest hit areas in the country, and winter pressures.

At a Brent Council community and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting last week, Khadir Meer, chief operating officer at LAS, explained Wembley services have been operating out of Kenton Ambulance Station since March.

And Pauline Cranmer, director of ambulance services at LAS, said the level of service has been maintained despite this change.

She said: “Our absolute priority is to make sure we deliver healthcare to Brent residents.

“In terms of consultation, it’s about making sure there is no change in the care we deliver.

“The fact is we’ve been operating out of a different site since March and we haven’t seen any detriment to the care we’ve provided to patients and communities in Brent.”

Cllr Ketan Sheth, chairman of the scrutiny committee, questioned why the council had received news of the closure so late and called for greater consultation with the community.

This is a point emphasised by the Trades Council, which has called for Brent residents to be “fully consulted on the future of the service”.

According to LAS, the lease for the site ends at the end of the financial year, but it has been asked to vacate by NHS Property Services (NHSPS) on December 1.

A spokeswoman for NHSPS explained that the Wembley site is “unsuitable as part of a modern ambulance service” as it can only house one vehicle.

She said: “As a government-owned company, NHSPS and local health officials are keen to improve and enhance healthcare provision in north-west London.

“Any development we undertake always has the clinical service it provides at its heart, ensuring we deliver on our purpose of enabling excellent patient care. To suggest otherwise is simply incorrect.”

She added land to the east of the station will be sold off after it was deemed “surplus” by Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, with any funds “reinvested directly into the NHS”.