Ambulance crews will begin operating out of South
East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb’s) newest Make Ready Centre
in Tangmere, near Chichester, West Sussex, next week.
A phased opening will see the first crews begin to report to the
new centre on the Chichester Business Park on Tuesday 9 August.
From Tuesday, staff from Midhurst and Pulborough will begin their
shifts from the new centre with crews from Bognor Regis and
Chichester ambulance stations joining their colleagues on
Wednesday 10 August and Thursday 11 August 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.
While ambulance staff will start and end their shifts from the
new centre the service provided to the region will be maintained
with a number of dedicated Ambulance Community Response Posts,
(ACRPs). Shifts will also begin and end on a staggered basis to
ensure that ambulance cover is maintained in all areas served by
the new centre.
Midhurst Ambulance Station is being marketed for sale with the
option for part of the site to be retained by SECAmb as a response
post. There will be a new response post at a site in Pulborough and
in Bognor Regis and Chichester the Trust will move from having one
ambulance station in each town to two response posts, thereby
giving it greater spread of cover. Crews will continue to use
Chichester and Bognor stations while the additional response posts
are commissioned. The Trust will also continue to explore other
potential sites across its region for additional response posts
based on patient demand.
The introduction of Make Ready means that the Trust does not
require large stations in which to store equipment and restock and
maintain vehicles. In addition crews will no longer have to clean
and restock their own vehicles thereby taking them away from their
main patient care duties. The new centre will also provide modern
training and meeting facilities.
SECAmb Paramedic and Operating Unit Manager Lorna Stuart said:
“A huge amount of work has taken place prior to the new centre
becoming operational and we’re looking forward to the first crews
entering the new system. This way of working ensures we have a
system in place where our staff are spending more time doing the
job they are trained to do – treating patients.
“The aim is to minimise the time when crews are not available to
respond to patients. 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 facilities that the new centre provides will
also ensure crews have access to improved training opportunities
and increased support from management.”
SECAmb has already developed three purpose-built Make Ready
centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and in Crawley, West
Sussex. It also has Make Ready Centres in Chertsey, Hastings and
Thanet. Another centre is due to open in Polegate, East Sussex
later this year with a further planned for Brighton.
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
The initiative ensures that specially-trained operatives
regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical
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