Plans to set up a hub for ambulances in the area at Polegate are one step closer to completion.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) plans to set up a Make Ready Centre to replace current ambulance stations in the area.
The new centre will be supported by a network of ambulance community responses posts across the area and will see staff, currently working at Eastbourne, Hailsham, Heathfield , Newhaven and Uckfield, begin and end their shifts at the new centre in Polegate.
The ambulance trust’s board has now approved the full business case for the development in Polegate, just off Cophall Farm roundabout.
The plans were given the green light by Wealden District Council earlier this year, and it is hoped the centre will be operational later in 2015.
SECAmb senior operations manager for the area, James Pavey, said, “We’re hopeful actual work on the site can begin early into the New Year and we will create modern facilities that will ensure our staff can concentrate on the job of treating patients rather than spend time cleaning and restocking vehicles. The development will also provide local job opportunities for our Make Ready Operatives. The centre will also provide us with much-needed additional training facilities. I’m delighted that our plans have progressed through this latest stage and I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with the project team over the coming months.”
SECAmb said its Make Ready initiative ‘significantly enhances and improve the service SECAmb provides to the community’. It said the new centres will minimise the risk of cross-infection, free 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 trust is introducing response posts at the following locations – Eastbourne West (now in operation), Eastbourne East, Hailsham, Heathfield, Newhaven, Polegate, Uckfield and Seaford.
There are already five Make Ready Centres in Ashford (Kent), Chertsey, Hastings, Paddock Wood and Thanet.