Uckfield Ambulance Station on the site of the community hospital, off Framfield Road

Uckfield Ambulance Station’s role to change

Uckfield Ambulance Station is shortly to become an ambulance community response post.

The switch is expected later this autumn and will come when South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb) “make ready” centre opens at Polegate.

The new centre will be where ambulances are made ready for crews before every shift and also provide modern training and meeting facilities.

Crews currently reporting to Uckfield, Heathfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne and Newhaven will start and end their shifts at the new centre.

Service to patients will be maintained

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “The service provided to the region will be maintained with a number of ambulance community response posts located in the best place for patient demand.

“Shifts will also begin and end on a staggered basis to ensure that ambulance cover is maintained in all areas served by the new centre.

“SECAmb will retain Uckfield ambulance station as an Ambulance Community Response Post.

“The introduction of ‘make ready’ means that the [ambulance] trust does not require large stations in which to store equipment and restock and maintain vehicles.

More time for patient care

“In addition, crews will no longer have to clean and restock their own vehicles thereby taking them away from their main patient care duties.”

SECAmb has developed four purpose-built Make Ready Centres in Ashford and Paddock Wood in Kent and more recently centres in Crawley and Tangmere in Sussex. It also has centres at Chertsey, Hastings and Thanet.

It intends to look for additional response posts across the area it covers, based on patient demand.

The spokesman added: “The ‘make ready’ system has been operating in other areas of SECAmb’s region for a number of years and we are confident of the benefits it brings.

“The changes also ensure we have modern facilities to operate from as we look to develop our estate and move away from older buildings which in some cases are in the wrong place for patient demand and can cost more to maintain.”

The establishment of a make ready centre at Polegate was reported by UckfieldNews.com three years ago when town councillors were told the service would retain a presence in the town.

500 ambulance 999 calls in a year for Uckfield Community First Responders

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