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SECAmb receives planning approval for Make Ready depot

Press release - 2 September 2010

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (SECAmb) plans to introduce a Make Ready depot in Paddock Wood have moved a step closer.

The Trust’s plans to create the depot in Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, received considerable support from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s planning committee.

At the meeting, held in Hawkhurst, on Wednesday, 31 August, all but one councillor, who abstained, supported the recommendation to approve the plan.

The depot, which will be the first of its kind for the Trust, will see ambulances cleaned, restocked and maintained by specialist staff.

The task of restocking and cleaning ambulances has historically been left to ambulance staff at the beginning and end of every shift.

The introduction of the Trust’s award-winning initiative will mean that ambulance clinicians can spend more time treating patients on ambulances which will be cleaned and regularly swabbed for the presence of micro-organisms, including MRSA and CDiff.

Vehicles will also be restocked to set standard specification and routinely checked for mechanical faults to reduce the risk of breakdowns.

SECAmb’s Director of Technical Services and Logistics, Geoff Catling said: “We are delighted to have received council approval for this plan.

“Make Ready is key to us further improving the service we provide to local communities. It will mean cleaner and safer ambulances and give staff more time to spend with patients.

“It is important that we provide our staff with the necessary skills and tools to deliver the best possible care in the best possible environment - Make Ready fulfils part of this objective.”

The Trust is keen to share its Make Ready plans with local communities which will be served by the new depot and is planning a number of engagement events in the autumn.

Note to editors:

 The state-of-the-art depot will support the staff and vehicles currently located at:

  • Cranbrook
  • Crowborough
  • Maidstone
  • Sevenoaks
  • Tonbridge
  • Tunbridge Wells

As part of the Trust’s plans to introduce the Make Ready depot in Paddock Wood, the depot will be linked to a network of ambulance community response posts.

These community response posts, which will provide staff with a stopgap between emergencies, will be located where SECAmb can reach as many patients as quickly as possible.

Many of the SECAmb’s ambulance stations, which were built more than 30 years ago, are no longer in the best place to provide a timely response to patients. 

Some existing ambulance stations which are in the right locations to best meet patient demand are likely to be retained as community response posts. The future of other stations which are poorly located to meet the needs of patients will be decommissioned.

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