Ambulance service to close Lewes office

Ambulance Service
Ambulance Service
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The ambulance service is to close its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Lewes as part of a major restructure plan.

The move comes as South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb) moves into a new HQ in Crawley.

The first staff are expected to move into the new building in Manor Royal, which will serve as the Trust’s HQ and EOC for the west of its region, this May.

SECAmb’s Joe Garcia said: “We’re looking forward to being able to welcome both EOC and support staff to a new, fit-for-purpose premises. With greater capacity across the two EOCs, our staff will be much better placed to meet current and future demand.

“The public should be reassured that this development is aimed at us being able to improve the service we offer. We do understand the impact the move will have on some staff but it is essential that the Trust is able to move forward and develop in modern facilities which provide them with the right working environment for the benefit of all our patients.”

The Trust, which is leasing the site from Surrey County Council, has previously set out its plans to move from operating three EOCs to two, which the Trust says will bring it in line with the majority of other ambulance trusts around the country.

Currently the trust operates EOCs at its current HQ site in Banstead in Surrey, and at regional offices in Lewes. Both offices are set to close as apart of the move.

Staff from Lewes EOC will, along with support staff, be the first to move into the new base in May. Support staff from the Trust’s Banstead and Coxheath offices are expected to complete the move by the end of June with their EOC colleagues from Banstead expected to move in early September.

The Trust says th emove to the new base has been intentionally staggered to allow for EOC staff to be trained on the Trust’s new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The new system is currently expected to be in operation across the Trust’s region by September.