Ambulance crews have begun operating out of South East
Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb) newest Make
Ready Centre in Polegate, East Sussex.
A phased opening saw clinicians begin to report to the new
centre, located at the Polegate bypass roundabout, yesterday
(Monday 17 October).
All of Heathfield, Hailsham and Eastbourne ambulance crews will
be reporting to the new centre by the end of this week. They will
be joined by colleagues from Newhaven and Uckfield on October 31,
when the centre will be fully operational.
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), where staff can rest between calls. 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.
The Trust is retaining an ambulance
community response post at all of its ambulance station locations
but the introduction of Make Ready means that the Trust does not
require large stations to store equipment and restock and maintain
vehicles. Eastbourne will be serviced by two ACRPs and a response
post has also been established in Seaford.
The Trust will also continue to explore other potential sites
across its region for additional response posts based on patient
SECAmb Paramedic and Operating Unit Manager Giles Adams said: “A
lot of work has taken place ahead of the centre becoming
operational and we’re really pleased to now be welcoming staff.
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 –
“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 new centre also ensures crews have access to
modern training facilities and increased support from
SECAmb has already developed four purpose-built Make Ready
centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and Crawley and
Tangmere in West Sussex. It also has Make Ready Centres in
Chertsey, Hastings and Thanet.
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