Ambulance 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.
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
“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
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
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
What is Make Ready?
The Make Ready initiative significantly
enhances and improves the service SECAmb provides to the
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
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.