Multi-million pound bid to modernise outdated ambulance stations

PUBLISHED: 14:11 13 July 2018

The Ambulance Station at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Ambulance Station at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

A Norfolk ambulance service could benefit from a muti-million pound bid to modernise outdated stations.

Ambulance bosses have revealed plans to overhaul several stations if a government funding bid of nearly £40m is successful.

If granted, the money will be used to upgrade the outdated ambulance station in Newby Road, King’s Lynn.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has put in a £38.6m capital bid for government funding and last week revealed it was successful in gaining £6.5m in capital funding for 10 sites to support crews get back onto the road more.

This bid was specifically for short term plans that would be in place before winter this year, which is traditionally the busiest time for the NHS.

Other sites to benefit from the funding include Ipswich, Barton Mills and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, Cambridge and Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, Colchester, Harlow and Basildon in Essex, and Bedford.

If successful, the latest financial bid would mean these sites would be completely overhauled during 2020/21.

Wayne Bartlett-Syree, EEAST’s director of sustainability and transformation, said: “Importantly, if we were successful, we would be able to have staff rest, welfare, training and development facilities all in one place to support our hardworking crews.

“The bid provides for a two-acre site with a 1,200m2 building to accommodate ambulance crews and vehicles. Each site would have an improved vehicle maintenance workshop and an area to wash and restock ambulances and cars.

“We are expecting to hear at the end of the year if our bid has been accepted. If we do not get it, we will continue to enact this plan to put in new buildings, however it will be at a much slower pace.”

Ed Garratt, chief officer for Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, the lead commissioner for the ambulance services, said: ‘We have supported this bid as we know that improved facilities will directly support better patient care. It will mean crews can get back onto the road as quickly as possible and boost crews welfare – which has a direct link to patient care too.”

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