Work has started on a ‘super station’ in Tangmere – which will replace ambulance stations around the district.
Construction has begun on South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb’s) new
Make Ready Centre, which will replace stations in Midhurst, Chichester, Bognor and Pulborough.
Contractors are now on-site at the business park.
A spokesman for SECAmb said: “The new centre, which the trust hopes to be in operation by autumn 2016, will be where ambulances are made ready for crews before every shift and also provide modern training and meeting facilities.
“The Make Ready initiative will significantly enhance and improve the service SECAmb provides to the community.
“It minimises the risk of cross-infection, frees up front-line staff, who currently clean and re-stock ambulances, to spend more time treating patients and keeps vehicles on the road for longer.
“The initiative ensures specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.”
The Make Ready Centre will be supported by a network of ambulance community responses posts (ACRPs) – but staff will begin and end their shifts in Tangmere.
However, during their shifts, staff will respond from the ACRPs which will include facilities for staff and are expected to be located in towns currently with ambulance stations.
A spokesman for SECAmb said they will also be located in areas where patient demand is highest.
He added: “Work is under way to have the new ACRPs in place for when the new centre becomes operational – thus protecting and improving the delivery of services to local communities.”
The development is one of four currently in the pipeline, with planning permission also granted at Crawley, Brighton and Polegate.
SECAmb has already developed two purpose-built centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and also
has Make Ready Centres in Chertsey, Hastings and Thanet.
Deep concerns over the plans were voiced by members of the Midhurst community when they were finalised last year.
Town councillors feared the Midhurst area could become cut off in severe weather when Cocking Hill, Duncton, Bury and Harting were all impassable.
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