South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) staff have returned to Sheppey Ambulance Station following a six-month major refurbishment project.
The station modernisation forms part of the Trust’s ongoing work to convert all of its estate to its Make Ready system – a vehicle preparation system which sees specialist teams of staff employed to clean, restock and maintain vehicles, meaning staff, who previously undertook these tasks, can spend more time treating patients.
The improvement work at the Main Road site in Queenborough means the station now boasts modern rest, educational and training facilities including a training room including named in memory of Rhod Prosser, a SECAmb paramedic who sadly died following a battle with cancer earlier this year.
Ambulance crews, who temporarily began shifts in Sittingbourne while the works took place, and responded from response posts including Sheppey Fire Station, will now start their shifts at the new base before being posted to respond from a number of Ambulance Community Response Posts across the region.
As part of wider improvements in the area, and as announced last month, ambulance crews starting and ending their shifts at Medway and Sittingbourne ambulance stations will, instead, start and finish at a new facility in Gillingham, which expected to become operational in 2022.
The new centre will house a Make Ready Centre as well as 999 and 111 operations centres. Sheppey vehicles will feed into the Gillingham centre regularly for restocking, cleaning and maintenance.
SECAmb Operating Unit Manager for Dartford and Medway, Will Bellamy, said: “It’s been great to welcome crews back to the much-improved station. Our staff, and in turn our patients, will benefit from this development which ensures our site on the island is modern and provides us with a building and facilities which are fit for the future.
“I would like to thank staff for their patience while the work took place and also Kent Fire and Rescue for their continued support which has included us using their premises as a rest point for crews.”