Thursday 28th November 2013 – 11.00am – Claire Brown.
A new ‘Make Ready’ ambulance preparation and maintenance hub has opened in Birmingham.
The site, off the Chester Road in Erdington, is home to a new dedicated team of ambulance fleet assistants who clean, stock and prepare ambulances in readiness for when clinical staff start shift. It became operational in September.
Make Ready is a project to overhaul and modernise the ambulance service in the West Midlands. Based on 16 successful years in Staffordshire, the project involves the creation of new hubs and the sale of traditional ambulance stations which are being replaced by smaller, lower maintenance and lower cost community ambulance stations. Ambulances are prepared at the hubs and then disperse to community ambulance stations from where they will respond to 999 calls.
Erdington Hub is the final of five hubs to open in Birmingham and the Black Country and completes the ‘Make Ready’ project in the two areas. Dudley Hub on Burton Road, Willenhall Hub on Ashmore Lake Way, West Bromwich Hub in Hargate Lane and Hollymoor Hub in Northfield are already operational.
Traditional ambulance stations in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Chelmsley Wood and Small Heath are up for sale or have been sold and replaced by community ambulance stations in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Shirley, Sheldon, Ward End, Acocks Green, Perry Barr, Erdington and Hay Mills. The Trust is still looking for suitable locations in the Chelmsley Wood area and, in the meantime, until a new site is found the current Chelmsley Wood Ambulance Station continues to be used. The Trust is also looking for a site for a community ambulance station in the Knowle/Dorridge area.
The number of new community ambulance stations is far greater than that of the old traditional ambulance stations and are situated closer to where we know patients need them which will help to further improve response times to 999 calls.
Nathan Hudson, Birmingham General Manager, said: “Despite a few teething problems typical of a new build, the move went well which is credit to the work of our management team, the excellent planning on their part and all of our staff who have taken the move in their stride.
“We’ve been in the new hub in Erdington for a couple of months now, and I’m pleased to say that it’s operating smoothly and efficiently in delivering ‘Make Ready’ and means our ambulance crews are more available than ever before to respond to 999 calls.
“Our staff are settled into the new facilities which are a marked improvement on our old traditional ambulance stations which had seen better days and were no longer fit for a 21st Century ambulance service. The hub is fresh, clean and modern with comfortable facilities for staff and plenty of room for vehicles and equipment.
“I am confident that this is a step in the right direction to delivering a better environment for our staff and, more importantly, an even better service to patients in Birmingham.”
Notes to Editors:
Photo outside the Hub (left to right): Phil Calow (Assistant Area Manager Birmingham), Dean Jenkins (Area Manager Birmingham) and James Williams (Area Support Officer).
Photo overlooking the ‘Make Ready’ area at the Hub (left to right): James Williams (Area Support Officer), Esme Beadsworth (Emergency Medical Technician), Mick Booth (Ambulance Fleet Assistant), Kirsty Morris and Anna Prescott (Paramedics).
Photo next to an ambulance in the ‘Made Ready’ area (left to right): Thomas Thompson (Ambulance Fleet Assistant Supervisor) and Mick Booth (Ambulance Fleet Assistant).