Thursday 1st August 2013 – 10.30am – Chris Kowalik.
An ambulance station in Birmingham is to put up for sale as part of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s ‘Make Ready’ plans.
The Make Ready programme involves the creation of 24/7 fleet maintenance hubs where dedicated teams of Ambulance Fleet Assistants prepare, service and maintain the fleet of ambulances. Oncoming ambulance crews collect their ‘made-ready’ vehicle and go to any of a new network of more than thirty Community Ambulance Stations from where they respond to 999 calls.
The hubs will be based at:
Opus Aspect, Chester Road, Erdington,
- Hollymoor Point, Hollymoor Way, Northfield
- West Bromwich (refurbishment of ambulance station in Hargate Lane)
- Birmingham city centre (location tbc)
Hubs in Northfield and West Bromwich are already in operation. The hub in Erdington is due to open later this month.
The remainder of the city’s ambulance stations are being sold and replaced by a new network of Community Ambulance Stations which will be leased rather than owned. The new stations which are greater in number will be lower maintenance with resultant lower running costs.
The ambulance station in Henrietta Street, Birmingham is the last in the city to put up for sale. It is due to be advertised as such this week with offers invited in the region of £475,000. It will be replaced by a small hub in the city centre.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We have agreed with staff that we will close the current station at Henrietta Street and open a new base in Birmingham city centre at a site yet to be identified. Even if a buyer is forthcoming early, the sale of the station in Henrietta Street will not be completed and the station will not close until its replacement is ready.
“Under our proposals the number of places that we respond from is increasing markedly which means we will be able to help patients more quickly than ever before. The Trust is investing heavily in this project because we know that it will bring very real benefits to patients.”
The ‘Make Ready’ system will be fully in place in Birmingham later this year.