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By Tristan Harris Tuesday 15 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 14:47
WORK has started on West Midlands Ambulance Service's (WMAS) new preparation and maintenance hub, which will be located at Hollymoor Way in Rubery.
The hub, serving the south of the Second City, will be one of just two in Birmingham as part of WMAS' mult-million pound Make Ready modernisation programme. The other hub will be based in Erdington.
A new team of Ambulance Fleet Assistants (AFAs) will operate from each hub, cleaning, stocking and preparing the ambulances for the clinical staff.
They will also deal with any fleet issues, enabling crews to focus their work on looking after their patients.
Birmingham's current nine traditional ambulance stations will be sold and, to complement the work of the two hubs, there will be a network of 31 community ambulance stations introduced. Each one will be staffed by a team of five community paramedics 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
That, the trust said, would ensure Birmingham's current level of ambulance was maintained.
Richard Norgrove is the property director at Hortons Estate Ltd, which is working with WMAS on the project.
He said the company was delighted to be working again with the ambulance service after successfully helping deliver a similar project in Willenhall.
"We have used the same professional team and contract who have developed an excellent working relationship with West Midlands Ambulance Service in understanding and evolving their requirements."
Simon Lewis, WMAS' head of estates, said: “The hub will operate 24/7 and will produce efficiencies that will enable the service to provide an even better level of patient care."
Make Ready was implemented by the then Staffordshire Ambulance Service 15 years ago and led to it becoming one of the highest performing ambulance services in the country with some of the fastest response times.
It sees the community paramedics - those with additional training in advanced patient assessment and procedures - working in their dedicated areas and, it is hoped, more patients will be treated at the scene, rather than at an A&E.
As well as responding to 999 calls, community paramedics will liaise with other health and social care departments in a bid to ensure the residents they serve receive the best health service possible.
Make Ready in Birmingham (incorporating Solihull Borough) will be fully in place later this year.
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