Smithfield Ambulance Station was officially re-opened today following an extensive refurbishment that included taking over the other half of the building that was previously occupied by the City of London Street cleaners.
The old station had become unfit for purpose over time as new technologies were introduced and as more staff were based there. It was originally a training station and would see the majority of new recruits based there for the supervisory period starting from Waterloo. As it became an established station and started to expand it was soon realised that a larger building was required. With just one toilet, one locker room and one shower (that ran off the messroom) it was clear something needed to be done.
A campaign was started at the turn of the century that was backed by UNISON, to either expand the station or move to more suitable premises.
After many years of wrangling involving different managers and union represenatives, a breakthrough was finally reached with the Corporation of London who agreed to hand over the entire building for use as an ambulance station. A well deserved refit then took place with the station now affording seperate male & female locker rooms incorporating toilets and showers. There is now also a small garage area for storing clinical waste, oxygen, stores and equipment that is well away from the staff areas.
The station was opened by members of the London Ambulance Service Retirement Association (LASRA) and London Ambulance Service UNISON Retired Members Section.
LAS UNISON is pleased to have been involved and supported this campaign from the start, and shows that even though some things do take a long time to achieve, we get the result we want in the end and one that has given staff based at the station a significantly improved working environment.