Thursday 6th November 2014 – 4.30pm – Murray MacGregor.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is set to invest millions of pounds into providing a bigger ambulance base in Stoke on Trent.
The Trust has operated from a site in Hilton Road, Penkhull for many years, but due to a rapid increase in demand, the current building is no longer big enough for the current requirements.
Staffordshire General Manager, Lee Washington, said: “Stoke is the busiest ambulance hub in the region. Although it has served us well, we simply can’t accommodate the number of emergency vehicles and staff that we now need to cover Stoke and the Moorlands.
“The current site is well placed, close to University Hospital North Staffordshire. However, after an extensive review of where our current demand comes from and also the potential for redeveloping our current site, we think that we can provide an even better service if we move to a new location in the A500 corridor, ideally as close to the Etruria flyover as possible.
“When we consider the changes in staff numbers from when the current hub opened in 1968 to now, the change is dramatic. We now have almost 230 staff based there and that number is only going to increase as demand continues to rise. This year, as a service, we have seen growth of almost 8%, which is unheard of.
“We are now looking for a site where we can build a brand new purpose built building so that it will meet the needs of our staff and patients in the years to come. The project is likely to cost in the region of £3 million.
“The Hub system, which was pioneered in Staffordshire and has now been rolled out across the West Midlands, provides crew facilities and a vehicle preparation system. This sees ambulances and response cars cleaned and stocked by ambulance fleet assistants (AFAs). As well as ensuring the highest standards of infection, prevention and control, it frees up considerable amounts of clinical time that means ambulance staff are available to respond to patients for more of their shift.
“From our experience both here in Staffordshire and across the region, we will certainly be involving staff as we move forward with the project and would hope that we should be able to move in, in the next couple of years.”
Any member of the public or developers who have potential sites should contact Head of Estates, Simon Lewis, on 01384 215 555.
Listen to Staffordshire General manager, Lee Washington, talking about the plans and why the Trust is making the change: