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New ambulance centre to begin operations

15 April 2016

Make Ready Centre CrawleyAmbulance crews will begin operating out of South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb’s) newest Make Ready Centre and Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) base in Crawley from next week (Monday 18 April).

A phased opening will see the first crews begin to report to the new centre in Faraday Road, Northgate, prior to the centre becoming fully operational by the end of April.

From Monday, Horsham staff will begin shifts at the new centre with crews from Horley and Crawley joining their colleagues on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

SECAmb’s Make Ready system minimises the risk of cross-infection; frees up front-line staff, who historically have cleaned and re-stocked ambulances, to spend more time treating patients; and keeps vehicles on the road for longer. Specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.

Make Ready CentreThe centre is supported by a network of Ambulance Community Responses Posts (ACRPs) where there are facilities for staff. Ambulance stations in Horsham, Crawley and East Grinstead have been retained as response post sites along with an ACRP already serving as such in Horley, thus protecting the delivery of services to local communities. Other potential sites for additional ACRPs based on patient demand will continue to be explored.

Within the new system, staff are also able to return and pick up a ‘Made Ready’ vehicle during their shift should they need to, thus ensuring they can begin to respond to emergencies more quickly than in the past when they would have to clean and restock their vehicles themselves.

The centre will not only serve as a place where ambulances are ‘made ready’ for crews but will also provide the regional home for the HART team, which is currently based in temporary premises near Gatwick. The site will also provide modern training and meeting facilities.

SECAmb Paramedic and Operating Unit Manager Peter Radoux said: “A great deal of work has taken place ahead of the centre becoming operational and we’re looking forward to welcoming the first crews into the system on Monday morning. Make Ready ensures we have a system in place where our staff are spending more time doing the job they are trained to do – treating patients.

Ambulance at the Make Ready Centre

“Crews will still respond from the same towns under this system but will begin and end their shifts at staggered times at the new centre with a vehicle prepared for them that is fully operational. The purpose of the new system is to minimise the time when crews are not available to respond to patients. The modern facilities the new centre provides will also ensure crews have access to improved training opportunities and greater management support.”

Paramedic and SECAmb HART Manager Neil Harrison added: “We’re pleased the Trust has secured a permanent base for the Gatwick HART team. The centre provides the facilities the teams need to respond to calls across the region as well as the space for essential training linked specifically to the HART role.”

SECAmb has already developed two purpose-built Make Ready centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent as well as Make Ready Centres in Chertsey, Hastings and Thanet. Centres are also being developed in Tangmere and Polegate with a further planned for Brighton. SECAmb has another HART team based in Ashford, Kent.

 

What is Make Ready?

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

The initiative ensures that specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.

Make Ready Centres are supported by a network of ambulance community responses posts (ACRPs) across the area with staff beginning and ending their shifts at the new centre.

During their shifts, staff will respond from the ACRPs which will provide facilities for staff. These are located based on patient demand.

 

What is the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART)?

SECAmb’s HART is made up of ambulance clinicians who have undergone additional training in the use of specialist equipment and vehicles which will enable them to safely treat patients in the ‘hot zone’ of a major incident or at other incidents with environments such as smoke-filled buildings or where potentially dangerous materials are present.

HART members are also specially-trained to respond to chemical leaks, urban search and rescue incidents, incidents at height, flooding, major road collisions and have equipment to test carbon monoxide levels.

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