South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb’s) plans to reconfigure its Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) and move to a new headquarters (HQ) are gathering pace.
The first staff are expected to move into the new building, which will serve as the trust’s HQ and EOC for the west of its region, in Manor Royal, Crawley, in May.
The trust, which is leasing the site from Surrey County Council, has previously set out its plans to move from operating three EOCs to two, which will bring it in line with the majority of other ambulance trusts around the country. SECAmb is leasing two floors of the new building.
The trust currently operates EOCs at its current HQ site in Banstead in Surrey, and at regional offices in Lewes, East Sussex and Coxheath, Kent. The move, which will see the trust close its offices in Lewes and Banstead, will ensure greater capacity than the trust currently has to enable it to meet the ever-growing demand placed upon it as well as better manage the increasing complex clinical needs of its patients.
Staff from Lewes EOC will, along with support staff, be the first to move into the new base in May. Support staff from the trust’s Banstead and Coxheath offices are expected to complete the move by the end of June with their EOC colleagues from Banstead expected to move in early September.
The move to the new base has been intentionally staggered to allow for EOC staff to be trained on the trust’s new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The new system is currently expected to be in operation across the SECAmb region by September.
SECAmb’s Interim Director of Operations Joe Garcia said, “We’re looking forward to being able to welcome both EOC and support staff to a new, fit-for-purpose premises. With greater capacity across the two EOCs, our staff will be much better placed to meet current and future demand. The public should be reassured that this development is aimed at us being able to improve the service we offer. We do understand the impact the move will have on some staff but it is essential that the trust is able to move forward and develop in modern facilities which provide them with the right working environment for the benefit of all our patients.”