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Two ambulance hubs needed after overhaul
1:00pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in News
AMBULANCE bosses will need two central bases for ambulances instead of one as part of an overhaul of the service to improve response times and save money.
Ambulance bosses already plan to have a central ‘hub’ at Worcester’s ambulance station in Spetchley Road although the building will need to be refurbished so it is fit for purpose.
However, leaders at the West Midlands Ambulance Service are to consider a recommendation to open a second hub at either the ambulance station in Redditch or Bromsgrove because the Worcester site will not be big enough on its own.
The 24/7 hubs would be where ambulances are stocked, maintained and cleaned before crews travel to community ambulance stations, which are places such as fire stations, police stations and industrial units where crews would have access to toilets, hot and cold water, a fridge, microwave, computer and TV.
There will be seven of these community ambulance stations which have a team of advanced paramedics and eight other community response posts in Worcestershire but crews will also be able to respond to emergencies directly from either of the two hubs.
As part of the scheme ambulance stations which do not become hubs would be sold off.
Many are no longer fit for purpose and face a backlog of repairs.
The scheme is already live in Staffordshire where it has been used for 15 years and is also active in Herefordshire.
The Make Ready scheme will be fully implemented across the region, including Worcestershire, by the end of March next year.
Assistant chief ambulance officer Mark Gough said: “While proceeding on a single-site solution brought many advantages, finding one big enough has proved problematic.”
The health overview and scrutiny committee received a presentation on Make Ready at County Hall by the trust’s chief executive Dr Anthony Marsh.
The final decision on where the second hub will go will be taken at an ambulance board meeting on Wednesday, July 25, which is open to the public.
Mr Gough said: “The move to Make Ready brings many advantages to patients: response times are improved; many staff are trained to a higher clinical standard; the amount of time clinical staff are available to see patients is increased; there is a reduction in waste increasing efficiency and channelling additional resources into frontline services.”
The board meeting to discuss Make Ready will take place at Hanley community fire station, Lower Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.