New plans submitted for Polegate ambulance centre

Polegate Make Ready Centre planning application
Polegate Make Ready Centre planning application

Plans for a purpose built ambulance centre at Polegate’s Cophall Farm have been submitted to Wealden District Council.

If approved, the building – called a Make Ready Centre – will provide modern training and meeting facilities, as well as being a base where crews are ‘made ready’ before every shift.

The new centre will be the third purpose-built Make Ready Centre that South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) will have developed. The other two are in Ashford and Paddock Wood, Kent.

It is hoped the new centre, if given final approval by the Trust’s board, will be operational by early 2015.

SECAmb’s programme director for Estates Geoff Catling, said, “These facilities will not only ensure that our clinical staff are freed up to do the job they are trained to do – treat patients, there will be the prospect of job opportunities as our Make Ready contractors look to recruit make ready operatives.”

Traditionally ambulance crews have been responsible for cleaning and restocking ambulances before and after shifts. Within the Make Ready system specialist teams of staff are employed.

Work is currently under way to establish which stations will report to the new facilities but it is expected that staff from Eastbourne, Hailsham, Heathfield, Newhaven and Uckfield will relocate to the new centre.

Decisions regarding the closure of ambulance stations will be made on an individual basis and on whether they are in the best location to respond to patients, said a SECAmb spokesperson.