Littlehampton and Shoreham ambulance services to be centralised to Worthing

Ambulance stations at Shoreham and Littlehampton are to be downgraded with services transferred centrally to Worthing.

Worthing Ambulance Station is being upgraded to become one of the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECamb) ‘make ready centres’.

Stations at both Littlehampton and Shoreham will be replaced with Ambulance Community Response Posts (ACRPs), which the trust says means ‘emergency cover to the area will be unchanged’.

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The changes will see staff currently working out of Shoreham and Littlehampton begin and end their shifts at Worthing Ambulance Station.

Littlehampton Ambulance Station will convert to an ACRP on Tuesday, April 17, while Shoreham Ambulance Station will convert into an ACRP on Thursday, April 19.

SECamb regional operations manager Andy Cashman said: “It’s important that we make this change to ensure we are able to provide the best possible care to patients.

“The move will help in a number of areas including vehicle stocking and cleaning and ensure staff have better access to managers and switch to work under the same system as is in place across the majority of our region.

“By retaining our Littlehampton and Shoreham locations and response posts we are ensuring emergency cover to the area is maintained.

“We appreciate that change is not always easy and that the changes do have an impact on some of the affected staff who may have to travel further from home to start their shifts.”

It is part of SECamb’s wider introduction of its ‘make ready’ system across the south east.

In 2015, ambulance stations at Midhurst, Chichester, Bognor and Pulborough were all closed and turned into response posts ahead of a make ready centre opening in Tangmere in November 2016.

Like at Tangmere, Worthing’s make ready centre will see vehicle preparation with teams of staff employed to clean, restock and maintain vehicles, aimed at meaning paramedics, who previously undertook these tasks, can spend more time treating patients.

SECamb said it expects to improve performance in a ‘number of areas including medicines management and vehicle restocking.