By Ian Dipple 26/07 Updated: 02/08 11:46
PLANS for Bromsgrove’s main ambulance station at Lickey End to get a massive £527,000 overhaul, turning it into a hub to serve north Worcestershire, have been rubber-stamped.
The proposals for the site, at Barnsley Hall Drive, opposite the Harvester and near Junction 1 of the M42, were confirmed on Wednesday (July 25) at a meeting of the West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust board.
The Lickey End station will now be one of two main hubs in the county, which will become operational in April as part of the service’s Make Ready scheme.
The other hub, for the south of the county, will be the Spetchley Road site Worcester, and the combined cost of the work, which will primarily pay for extra on-site accommodation and car parking, will be £1.45million.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust said it was all about maximising resources.
“The whole principle of Make Ready is that we become better to responding to emergencies.
“With more bases across the county to respond from, we will be able to get to you quicker,” he added.
Bromsgrove had just one ambulance station up until August 2010, when a site on the Sanders Road Industrial Estate was acquired to ensure there was a base at either end of the town.
Under the Make Ready scheme, it was originally intended to have one centralised hub in Worcester with dedicated teams cleaning and stocking ambulances 24/7, which crews could then pick up and respond to 999 calls, reducing the amount of time they were off the road.
But after the Trust’s preferred site in Stanier Road fell through and pressure from councillors, MPs and staff, ambulance chiefs decided to press ahead with creating two hubs.
As a result of the decision, three other ambulance stations owned by the Trust in Worcestershire will be put up for sale. These stations are in Kidderminster, Evesham and Redditch.
Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, said: “This is one of the most important projects that the Trust has undertaken.
"It will undoubtedly bring real benefits for patients by allowing us to invest even more money in frontline services.
"Once fully implemented, Make Ready will free up resources that can be re-invested in patient care.”
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Mark Gough, who leads the Trust’s Transformational Team, said: “The move to Make Ready brings many advantages to patients - response times are improved, many staff are trained to a higher clinical standard, the amount of time clinical staff are available to see patients is increased, there is a reduction in waste increasing efficiency and channelling additional resources into frontline services.”
Delighted Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Roger Hollingworth said “We did a fair bit of lobbying on this and I’m pleased Bromsgrove was chosen because it’s the right option.
“It just shows that for the north of Worcestershire, Bromsgrove is the place to be.
“You can get to Redditch along the bypass and to Kidderminster very quickly as well.
“They (the Trust) have realised they need to service the north of the county and cannot just centralise everything,” he added.
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