Work is progressing well on the development of South East Coast Ambulance Service’s, (SECAmb), latest Make Ready Centre.

The new development at Woollards Field, near the A27 at Falmer, East Sussex is expected to be operational by Autumn 2020.

SECAmb’s Make Ready system minimises the risk of cross-infection and keeps vehicles on the road for longer with specially-trained operatives regularly deep-cleaning, restocking and checking vehicles for mechanical faults.

The central reporting model will also see ambulance staff who currently start and end their shifts in Brighton, Hove and Lewes instead start and finish at the new centre – a way of working already in place across much of SECAmb’s, region.

The Make Ready Centre will be named Chamberlain House, in recognition of Professor Douglas Chamberlain, who founded the first paramedics in Europe in Brighton in the 1970s.

The renowned retired cardiologist, who worked as an advisor for SECAmb for many years, visited the building development recently alongside two of Brighton’s longest serving and newest paramedics.

The new development will be supported by a network of dedicated Ambulance Community Response Posts, (ACRPs), with suitable rest facilities for crews between calls and when on a break.

The service provided to Brighton and the surrounding area will be protected by strategically-placed response posts located across the area including in Seven Dials and Hanover District in Brighton, Lewes, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Hove. 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. New ACRPs at the current Brighton and Lewes ambulance station sites are subject to wider development plans.

The introduction of Make Ready means that the Trust does not require large stations in which to store equipment and restock and maintain vehicles. The new centre will also provide modern training and meeting facilities.

SECAmb Operating Unit Manager for the Brighton area Tim Fellows said: “I’m delighted that work on this important development is now well under way. The new centre will ensure we have new modern facilities for staff and that we are able to fully implement the Make Ready system in Brighton and the surrounding area.

“Crews will still respond from the same towns under this system but will begin and end their shifts at staggered times with a vehicle prepared for them that is fully operational. The facilities that Chamberlain House provides will also ensure crews have access to improved educational and skills training accommodation and increased access to leadership team support. It is only right that the city, as the birthplace of the UK paramedic profession, has the estate to match its prestigious history.”

SECAmb has already developed five purpose-built Make Ready centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and in Crawley, Tangmere and Polegate in 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 traditionally cleaned and re-stocked ambulances, to spend more time treating patients; and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.
• The initiative ensures that specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.
• 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 patient demand.