Ambulance crews have begun operating out of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb) newest Make Ready Centre in Polegate.
A phased opening saw clinicians begin to report to the new centre, located at the Polegate bypass roundabout on Monday (17 October).
All of Heathfield, Hailsham and Eastbourne ambulance crews will be reporting to the new centre by the end of this week. They will be joined by colleagues from Newhaven and Uckfield on October 31, when the centre will be fully operational.
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.
While ambulance staff will start and end their shifts from the new centre the service provided to the region will be maintained with a number of dedicated Ambulance Community Response Posts, (ACRPs), where staff can rest between calls. Shifts will also begin and end on a staggered basis to ensure that ambulance cover is maintained in all areas served by the new centre.
The Trust is retaining an ambulance community response post at all of its ambulance station locations but the introduction of Make Ready means that the Trust does not require large stations to store equipment and restock and maintain vehicles. Eastbourne will be serviced by two ACRPs and a response post has also been established in Seaford.
The Trust will also continue to explore other potential sites across its region for additional response posts based on patient demand.
SECAmb Paramedic and Operating Unit Manager Giles Adams said, “A lot of work has taken place ahead of the centre becoming operational and we’re really pleased to now be welcoming staff. 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.
“The aim is to minimise the time when crews are not available to respond to patients. 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 new centre also ensures crews have access to modern training facilities and increased support from management.”
SECAmb has already developed four purpose-built Make Ready centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and Crawley and Tangmere in West Sussex. It also has Make Ready Centres in Chertsey, Hastings and Thanet.
What is Make Ready?
The Make Ready initiative significantly enhances and improves the service SECAmb provides to the community.
It minimises the risk of cross-infection; frees up front-line staff, who currently clean and re-stock ambulances, to spend more time treating patients; and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.
The initiative ensures that specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.
Make Ready Centres are supported by a network of ambulance community responses posts (ACRPs) across the area with staff beginning and ending their shifts at the new centre.
During their shifts, staff will respond from the ACRPs which will provide facilities for staff. These are located based on patient demand.