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Modern ambulance hub planned for Rougham set to free up clinical staff

PUBLISHED: 10:58 26 January 2019

The Make Ready depots will allow paramedics to spend more time out in the community treating patients. Picture: SU ANDERSON

The Make Ready depots will allow paramedics to spend more time out in the community treating patients. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Plans have been unveiled for a modern new ambulance facility in West Suffolk which will free up paramedics to spend more time with patients.

The proposed site for the 'Make Ready' ambulance depot in Rougham. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe proposed site for the 'Make Ready' ambulance depot in Rougham. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has submitted a planning application for a new depot off Suffolk Business Park in Rougham.

The facility, known as a ‘Make Ready’ hub, will include a vehicle workshop, cleaning bays and equipment preparation, as well as training space and meeting rooms.

The Make Ready depots utilise non-clinical staff to prepare and maintain ambulances, which allows paramedics and other front line clinical workers to focus on their work with patients.

A spokeswoman from the ambulance trust said: “The trust’s strategy is to implement Make Ready services across the region.

“The programme is being funded by a combination of trust resources and STP [sustainability and transformation partnership] capital funding.

“The modern facilities will replace premises such as Brooklands Close in Bury St Edmunds.

“It is important to stress the service cover provided in any area will not be diminished, as a community ambulance station will be established in major population and strategic locations.

“These will primarily be shared locations with other public sector partners.

“Examples of this are in Sudbury and Bury where we work with Suffolk Fire and Rescue colleagues in shared facilities.”

The plans are currently open to public consultation, and are expected to go before a planning committee at St Edmundsbury Borough Council sometime in March.

If approved, the trust said it hoped to have the facility operational in mid-2020.

The land is considered to be a good location because of its close links to the A14 trunk road and Eastern Relief Road.

A new access road to the business park’s main service road will also be created under the proposals.

A planning statement by the trust recognised that the use of the land is a departure from the council’s policy for the land – office and light industry and storage – but said: “EEAST being an important public service, the site being a key location identified by EEAST for a central control site for the district and the wider region, and the relocation of services to this site freeing up development land elsewhere, all allow the local planning authority to approve the scheme as a departure from policy.”

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