Ambulance station refurbishment to increase efficiency

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 4-Jan-2023

£500,000 'make ready' hub set to open in Harlow, Essex

A £500,000 refurbishment project to create a ‘make ready’ facility for faster ambulance preparation has completed at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. 

The modern hub provides space and facilities for specialist teams to clean, restock, and maintain vehicles, enabling frontline staff, who had routinely undertaken these tasks, to spend more time treating patients.

By saving thousands of clinical hours every year, the hospital has increased capacity to support its local population of around 350,000 people.

Essex-based property and construction consultancy, Ingleton Wood, was appointed for the project, which included the complete remodelling of the existing ambulance station and adjoining building.

Christopher Mabbutt, partner at Ingleton Wood, said: “Harlow Ambulance Station was identified to be modernised to meet the ‘make ready’ requirement.

“This coincided with the expansion of the station into the adjoining part of the building to provide more space and better facilities.

“The redevelopment has increased efficiency, enabling ambulances to return to the station for essential cleaning, maintenance, and safety checks before being dispatched to the next callout.

“We take great pride in being part of this project, helping to improve the service to the community and creating a better environment for hard-working NHS staff and ambulance crews.” 

In between patients, specialist teams will work round the clock cleaning vehicles and restocking any medication or equipment used on the last patient. 

Tom Abell, chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), which manages Harlow Ambulance Station, said: “The works at Harlow are part of the trust’s commitment to a region-wide ‘make ready’ programme and will also whelp accommodate the additional staff we need to achieve our employment targets and get more crews on the road, caring for patients.”

Claire Nehame, manager of the new hub, added: “Make ready crews save at least 15 minutes per shift for crews, which over a year, across the whole organisation, can add up to thousands of hours of clinician time which is released into the community.” 

While the existing ambulance station has been remodelled to create the bespoke hub, a new operational area has also been created in the adjoining building. 

Work included the installation of new LED lighting, an improved heating and cooling ventilation system, a dedicated wellbeing area, and a new outdoor ambulance washing facility.

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