Ambulance crews will begin operating out of South East Coast Ambulance Service’s newest Make Ready Centre in Tangmere next week.
A phased opening will see the first crews begin to report to the new centre on the Chichester Business Park on Tuesday, August 9.
Staff from Midhurst and Pulborough will begin their shifts from the new centre with crews from Bognor Regis and Chichester ambulance stations joining their colleagues on Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, respectively.
SECAmb paramedic and operating unit manager, Lorna Stuart, said: “A huge amount of work has taken place prior to the new centre becoming operational and we’re looking forward to the first crews entering the new system.
“This way of working ensures we have a system in place where our staff are spending more time doing the job they are trained to do – treating patients.”
SECAmb’s Make Ready system minimises the risk of cross-infection; frees up front-line staff, who historically have cleaned and re-stocked ambulances, to spend more time treating patients; and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.
Specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.
“The aim is to minimise the time when crews are not available to respond to patients,” added Lorna.
“Crews will still respond from the same towns under this system but will begin and end their shifts at staggered times at the new centre with a vehicle prepared for them that is fully operational.
“The facilities that the new centre provides will also ensure crews have access to improved training opportunities and increased support from management.”
Midhurst Ambulance Station is being marketed for sale with the option for part of the site to be retained by SECAmb as a response post.
There will be a new response post at a site in Pulborough and in Bognor Regis and Chichester the Trust will move from having one ambulance station in each town to two response posts, thereby giving it greater spread of cover.
Crews will continue to use Chichester and Bognor stations while the additional response posts are commissioned.
The Trust will also continue to explore other potential sites across its region for additional response posts based on patient demand.