Thursday 20th November 2014 – 5.15pm – Claire Brown.
A dedicated community ambulance station, home to 20 ambulance staff, opened its doors in Solihull last week.
Based on the Solihull Hospital site, the community ambulance station officially became operational at 6.45am on Wednesday 12th November. It has modern facilities for 20 staff and dedicated parking spaces for two ambulances which will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve the local area.
The opening of this new station follows the Trust’s Make Ready project to overhaul and modernise the ambulance service in the West Midlands.
The Make Ready project involved the creation of new hubs and the sale of traditional ambulance stations including that in Hermitage Way in Solihull, which have been replaced by various smaller, lower maintenance and lower cost community ambulance stations such as that at Solihull Hospital. Ambulances are prepared at Erdington Hub, which opened in September 2013, and then dispersed to these community ambulance stations from where they respond to 999 calls.
Dean Jenkins, the Trust’s Area Manager for the North of Birmingham, said: “When we introduced make ready we always said that we would monitor the situation to ensure patients got a better service than the previous arrangements. In line with that commitment, we have opened this new facility to further enhance and refine Make Ready and the service we provide to patients.
“The new community ambulance station is a far cry from the old facilities at Hermitage Way just around the corner, and brings the Service into the 21st Century. Thank you to Solihull Hospital for their hospitality and providing us with the facility. Whilst it has been disappointing to experience delays in completion of this project, our staff who are now based there have been very patient and we now look forward to further improving our cover in Solihull.”
Andrew Clements, Head of Operations at Solihull Hospital and Community Services said: “I’m delighted to be working with West Midlands Ambulance Service to provide this dedicated community ambulance station on site. We as a hospital were very keen to make this happen to support WMAS to improve outcomes for patients needing to use the service. Having the ambulance service presence on site will be a further boost in our commitment to provide safe care for residents of Solihull and the surrounding area.”
On Thursday last week, local MP Lorely Burt visited the new facility and said: “It’s especially good news for local residents that we have the ambulances in time for the coldest months. Icy roads and winter bugs will mean their services are really appreciated. I hope local residents will have reassurance now that an ambulance will be nearby if they need help.”
Notes to Editor:
Pictured (left to right) – Dean Jenkins, Lorely Burt and Andrew Clements.