Thursday 1st August 2013 –10.30am – Chris Kowalik.
An ambulance station in Warwickshire is about to be put up for sale as part of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s ‘Make Ready’ plans.
The Make Ready programme is seeing the creation of two 24/7 fleet maintenance hubs where dedicated teams of Ambulance Fleet Assistants and mechanics prepare, service and maintain the fleet of ambulances. A hub has been created in Ibstock Road, Coventry and one is being built at Tournament Fields in Warwick.
Traditionally owned stations are to be sold, replaced by a new network of Community Ambulance Stations which will be leased rather than owned. The new stations will be lower maintenance with resultant lower running costs and will be greater in number.
Consequently, Warwick ambulance station, Montague Road, Warwick is due to be advertised for sale this week with offers invited in the region of £375,000. It will continue to be used to respond from until a site is found for a new Community Ambulance Station in the town.
When completed, the two hubs will serve a network of 19 Community Ambulance Stations in Coventry and Warwickshire. Ambulances prepared at the hubs will disperse to the new stations from where they will respond to 999 calls. The new Community Ambulance Stations are in the process of being established or, where a site has been found, refurbished. They are already established in Canley, Kenilworth, Stratford, Wellesbourne Airfield, Southam and Alcester and within fire stations in Atherstone, Leamington, Nuneaton, Binley, Foleshill, Bedworth and in Radford Road in Coventry. The Trust is still in the process of establishing premises for Community Ambulance Stations in Rugby (x2), Coleshill, Dordon, Warwick and Shipston.
By being smaller, lower maintenance and therefore lower cost than the Trust’s traditional ambulance stations, there can be more of them to further improve response times.
The system of hubs and new Community Ambulance Stations is known as ‘Make Ready’; implemented by the then Staffordshire Ambulance Service fifteen years ago resulting in it becoming one of the highest performing ambulance services in the country with some of the fastest response times.
The current level of ambulance cover in Coventry and Warwickshire will be maintained, but the ambulance service provided will increase overall with the introduction of Community Paramedic teams. Community Paramedics are already operating in Atherstone, Nuneaton, Canley, Kenilworth, Stratford, Wellebourne and Southam. Teams are still to be established for Rugby (x2), Coleshill and Shipston.
Dedicated to their respective areas, Community Paramedics are paramedics with additional training in advanced patient assessment and procedures.
They will be able to treat many more patients at the scene rather than them being conveyed to an A&E Department.
In addition to responding to 999 calls, the role of the Community Paramedics will be to liaise with other areas of health and social care and ensure the population they serve receive the best health service possible, while ensuring the ambulance service through 999 is used appropriately.
Each of the above areas will have a team of Community Paramedics to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
The ‘Make Ready’ system is expected to be fully in place in Coventry and Warwickshire later this year.