Another step forward for new ambulance centre in Polegate

Polegate make Ready centre
Polegate make Ready centre

A new ambulance centre for Polegate has taken another step forward.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) plans to create its first purpose built centralised Make Ready Centre in Polegate which will be located just off the Cophall Farm roundabout.

The Make Ready Centre will be supported by a network of ambulance community responses posts (ACRPs). Staff, currently working at Eastbourne, Hailsham, Heathfield, Newhaven and Uckfield, will begin and end their shifts at the new centre. But during their shifts, staff will respond from the ACRPs.

The plans were given the green light by Wealden District Council in March this year and now SECAmb’s Trust Board has approved the full business case for the development in the town.

It is hoped the contractor will move on the site early next year and that the centre will be operational later in 2015.

SECAmb senior operations manager for the area, James Pavey said: “We’re hopeful actual work on the site can begin early into the new year and we will create modern facilities that will ensure our staff can concentrate on the job of treating patients rather than spend time cleaning and restocking vehicles. The development will also provide local job opportunities for our Make Ready Operatives.”

James added: “The centre will also provide us with much-needed additional training facilities. I’m delighted that our plans have progressed through this latest stage and I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with the project team over the coming months.”

A spokesman for SECAmb said the Make Ready initiative will minimise the risk of cross-infection, and free up front-line staff, who currently clean and re-stock ambulances, to spend more time treating patients and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.

The initiative will ensure that specially trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults, the spokesman said.

Work is under way to have the new ACRPs in place for when the new centre becomes operational.