Town is chosen as the regional hub for ambulances services

Crawley has been chosen as a regional hub for ambulance services from surrounding towns.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust plans to build a Make Ready Centre (MRC) where crews that report to Crawley, Horley, Horsham and East Grinstead will begin and end their shifts.

The teams will be dispatched from the MRC to a network of Ambulance Community Response Posts (ACRP).

A SECAmb spokesman said the posts would replace ambulance stations and be situated in areas matching patient demand.

The posts could be placed near health centres or motorways.

Ambulance stations could be scaled down to become an ACRP.

The spokesman said: “They will replace ambulance stations.

“The closures of ambulance stations will only take place once a response post is operational – thus protecting and enhancing the service we provide to patients.”

Crawley Borough Council received an application to build an ambulance Make Ready Centre in Faraday, Northgate, on March 3. Its decision on the bid is due on June 2.

The NHS trust plans to employ specialist staff at the site to clean, maintain and restock ambulances - a job traditionally done by paramedics.

Geoff Catling, SECAmb’s programme director for estates, said: “These facilities will not only ensure that our clinical staff are freed up to do the job they are trained to do – treat patients, there will be the prospect of job opportunities as our Make Ready contractors look to recruit make ready operatives from the area.”

The site, which is hoped to be operational by early 2016, will house the region’s Hazardous Area Response Team Unit, which is currently based is temporary premises in Gatwick. The facilities will also be used for training and as a meeting venue. The Crawley centre is to be one of 12 MRCs SECAmb plans to have.

SECAmb NHS Foundation Trust currently runs two MRCs.