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Health minister visits Make Ready Depot

23 November 2010

Health Minister Simon Burns was introduced to South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (SECAmb) award-winning Make Ready initiative. 

The minister toured Hastings’ Make Ready depot station to see the initiative in action and to meet with staff today, (Tuesday 23 November).

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 traditionally clean and re-stock ambulances, to spend more time treating patients and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.

Simon Burns said: "It was a pleasure to have met the dedicated staff today at the South East Coast Ambulance service Trust.
"I was very impressed with the Make Ready initiative which keeps the ambulance service running smoothly and frees up time for front line crews to treat patients.

“The programme is a great example of how we can improve patient outcomes by cutting the risk of cross-infection and improving patient safety.”

Senior Operations Manager for the area, James Pavey, was delighted to welcome the Minister to the Make Ready depot station.
He said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister to Hastings to see Make Ready in action.

“Make Ready is all about improving patient safety and reducing the risk of cross infections. The initiative ensures vehicles are regularly deep-cleaned, restocked and checked for mechanical faults.”

SECAmb also operates two other successful ‘Make Ready’ depots – in Chertsey, Surrey, and in Thanet, Kent. As part of the roll-out programme across the region, the Trust is in the process of establishing two state-of-the-art ‘Make Ready’ depots in Paddock Wood and Ashford, Kent.

The Trust is looking to introduce a further nine Make Ready depots across the region in coming years.   


Note to editors:
 SECAmb’s ‘Make Ready’ initiative sees specially trained non-clinical staff dedicated to the preparation of ambulances and other response vehicles for a shift on the road.  The vehicles are:
o regularly deep-cleaned and swabbed for the presence of micro-organisms including MRSA and CDiff
o fully stocked to a standardised specification with drugs and equipment that might be needed in a medical emergency. Equipment will also be checked and serviced regularly
o checked for mechanical faults and potential problems on-site by vehicle maintenance experts to reduce the risk of breakdown.

 SECAmb’s ‘Make Ready’ initiative was recognised at last year’s Best of Health Awards. SECAmb picked up the Patient Safety Award for the initiative.
 South East Coast Ambulance Service was formed on 1 July 2006, following the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance trusts and is one of 11 ambulance services operating in England. It covers an area of 3,600 square miles and a resident population of 4.5 million across East and West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Kent and Medway and Surrey. The trust responds to 999 calls from the public, immediate and urgent calls from health professionals, as well as providing non-emergency Patient Transport Services (pre-booked patient journeys to and from healthcare facilities) in some areas.  It employs more than 3,000 staff across 60 sites, more than half of whom are paramedics and ambulance technicians.
For further details contact:

 Liz Spiers, Media Relations Manager, on 001622 740331 or 07901554250
 Rich Airey, Media Relations Officer, on 01737 363888 or 07500 991807 or email

 On-call press officer for urgent media enquiries 01622 740358, option 4

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