Under the Make Ready programme vehicles are regularly deep-cleaned and swabbed for the presence of micro-organisms including MRSA and CDiff.  Each vehicle is fully stocked to a standardised specification with equipment checked and serviced regularly. To reduce the risk of vehicle breakdowns, on-site vehicle maintenance experts are on-hand to undertake routine checks and maintenance.

The Make Ready system is undertaken in purpose built or converted buildings.  We currently have Make Ready Centres in Ashford, Chertsey, Hastings, Paddock Wood, Thanet, Tangmere, Polegate and Gatwick.

Make Ready Map

Key facts about Make Ready

  • Improved infection control rates – by way of assurance swab test are undertaken by an independent laboratory on 10% of the vehicles that have been deep cleaned.  Not surprisingly, the results would indicate that the repetitive cleaning undertaken at every shift in the MRC produce a higher standard.
  • Critical vehicles failure rates – The Trust’s target for vehicles failures at the start or during a shift is four vehicles failures in every 25,000 miles.  In the Make Ready system there are no failures at the beginning of shifts. When the Make Ready Centre in Thanet began there was about six failures per day compared now to a maximum of six per month.  The less failures the more time an ambulance crew is available to respond to patients
  • Deep cleaning – 100 per cent of vehicles are deep cleaned every six weeks in Make Ready Centres. This involves the vehicles being stripped down of all equipment and furniture and cleaned. The percentage outside the Make Ready system is 75%.
  • Equipment failure rates – Under the Make Ready system there are very few failures such as infected, not being there, out of date or not working equipment.

What is Make Ready?

Make Ready is a vehicle preparation system which sees specialist teams of staff employed to clean, restock and maintain vehicles which means our staff, who routinely undertaken these tasks, can spend more time treating patients.

Under the Make Ready system vehicles are regularly deep-cleaned and swabbed for the presence of micro-organisms including MRSA and CDiff.  Each vehicle is fully stocked to a standardised specification with equipment checked and serviced regularly. To reduce the risk of vehicle breakdowns, on-site vehicle maintenance experts will be on-hand to undertake routine checks and maintenance.

What is a Make Ready Centre?

A Make Ready Centre is where the vehicle preparation takes place. Staff will begin and end their shifts at the Make Ready Centres before being sent to Ambulance Community Response Posts from which they will respond to 999 emergencies during their shift.  Response posts are located in places where we can reach as many patients as quickly as possible.

What is an Ambulance Community Response Post?

An ambulance community response post is a place which provides rest facilities for staff between emergencies.  They normally accommodate one crew at any one time.

The locations for the response posts have been strategically matched with patient demand to ensure we reach as many people as quickly as possible.

Will my local ambulance station close as a result of these changes?

Many of the Trust’s current ambulance stations were built more than 30 years ago and not in the best location for responding to patients quickly.

Improving patient outcomes and response times to patients requires our vehicles and crews to be where the public need them to be, when they need them.

However, any decision regarding the closure and disposal of ambulances stations will be made on an individual basis.  It may be possible that some stations are well located to meet current patient demand and if that is the case, some sites could be used to locate an ambulance community response post.

If my local ambulance station closes will there be a local ambulance community response post to replace it?

The response posts will be located based on demand so if you live in an area where there is demand for our services then it is likely that an ambulance response post will be located in your town.   In fact it is likely that we will be responding from more locations that we have previously.

Will the ambulance station close before an ambulance community response post is open?

The closure and disposal of any station will only take place once a suitable ambulance response post has been located and is operational.  Thus protecting and enhancing the services we provide to patients.

How does the Trust decide where the Make Ready Centres should be located?

In deciding where Make Ready Centres are located in the region, the Trust considers a number of factors including which hospitals ambulance crews take patients and demand.  By having Make Ready Centres close to the area’s main A&E Department reduces travel times for ambulances requiring restocking or cleaning or ending a shift after attending A&E and before returning to an area/town requiring ambulance cover.

If ambulance crews are starting and finishing at Make Ready Centres will there be fewer ambulances available at these times?

A great deal of work goes into ensuring that the Trust has enough ambulances on duty to provide dynamic cover across its region at any one time.  To ensure that we are able to provide emergency cover across an area as well as ensure that we have the time to clean and restock vehicles for crews arriving at work, shifts are staggered.

Will response times suffer as a result of introducing Make Ready Centres?

With any new system which is introduced, it takes a little time for things to bed in and people to adapt to the changes so we do expect some impact on our performance but we do our best to manage this appropriately.

Isn’t this just about saving money?

We take patient safety extremely seriously and see Make Ready as a vehicle to ensure that not only do our clinical staff have more time to treat patients but patients are treated in a safer, cleaner environment.

The Trust has and continues to invest in the Make Ready system – £55 million. We need to recoup the cost of introducing this system. This is why some stations which become surplus to requirement will need to be sold.

Will there be job losses as a result of introducing Make Ready?

The number of operational staff will remain the same as a result of these changes.  In fact because our clinical staff will no longer be undertaking some of the vehicle preparation tasks, this will give them more time to treat patients.

Why are you not publicly consulting on these changes?

We gave very careful consideration to this issue and came to the conclusion that the introduction of Make Ready Centres was not a significant change in our service delivery.  We will continue to respond to emergencies across our region, despite these changes.  However, we are committed to sharing with you our plans through a programme of engagement events.