Staff from South East Coast Ambulance’s NHS 111 service will begin to move into a new multi-purpose ambulance and contact centre in Gillingham this week.

The staff, who are currently based in Ashford, Kent, are expected to move in to the building from Wednesday, 28 June. They will join their 999 frontline operations colleagues who moved into the building earlier this month with both teams being joined later this year by their 999 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) colleagues.

The multi-purpose centre, in Bredgar Road, Gillingham, will consist of a Make Ready Centre, EOC, and NHS 111 contact centre. It will be the first ambulance centre in the country to bring all three functions together under one roof.

Integrating both 999 and 111 services is a key part of SECAmb’s aim to deliver more joined up integrated care and to increase efficiency. The development will also bring the east of SECAmb’s region in line with its West Emergency Operations Centre (including NHS 111), based in Crawley, which opened in 2017.

The new centre will provide the Trust with greater contact centre capacity and provide greater resilience and operational flexibility. It will also bring local recruitment opportunities for people across both 999 and 111 services.

John J O'Sullivan, Associate Director for Integrated Care (999 & 111) at SECAmb said: “I’m really pleased that our NHS 111 teams will be joining their frontline colleagues at the new centre this week. This is an important move as we continue to evolve and share best practice across our 999 and 111 functions.

“I would like to thank all those involved in this project which is a significant undertaking and which will be of real benefit to the Trust and our patients. I wish everyone well in their new home.”