South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS
Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb) plans to reconfigure its Emergency
Operations Centres (EOCs) and move to a new HQ are gathering pace.

The first staff are expected to move into the new building,
which will serve as the Trust’s HQ and EOC for the west of its
region, in Manor Royal, Crawley, in May.

The Trust, which is leasing the site from Surrey County Council,
has previously set out its plans to move from operating three EOCs
to two, which will bring it in line with the majority of other
ambulance trusts around the country which have two EOCs. SECAmb is
leasing two floors of the new building.

The Trust currently operates EOCs at its current HQ site in
Banstead in Surrey, and at regional offices in Lewes, East Sussex
and Coxheath, Kent. The move, which will see the Trust close its
offices in Lewes and Banstead, will ensure greater capacity than
the Trust currently has to enable it to meet the ever-growing
demand placed upon it as well as better manage the increasing
complex clinical needs of its patients.

Staff from Lewes EOC will, along with support staff, be the
first to move into the new base in May. Support staff from the
Trust’s Banstead and Coxheath offices are expected to complete the
move by the end of June with their EOC colleagues from Banstead
expected to move in early September.

The move to the new base has been intentionally staggered to
allow for EOC staff to be trained on the Trust’s new Computer Aided
Dispatch (CAD) system. The new system is currently expected to be
in operation across the Trust’s region by September.

SECAmb’s Interim Director of Operations Joe Garcia said: “We’re
looking forward to being able to welcome both EOC and support staff
to a new, fit-for-purpose premises. With greater capacity across
the two EOCs, our staff will be much better placed to meet current
and future demand.

“The public should be reassured that this development is aimed
at us being able to improve the service we offer. We do understand
the impact the move will have on some staff but it is essential
that the Trust is able to move forward and develop in modern
facilities which provide them with the right working environment
for the benefit of all our patients.”