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Ambulance chiefs want new Shrewsbury super station

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Ambulance chiefs want to build a new super station on the outskirts of Shrewsbury as part of a move they claim will improve efficiency and patient care. The new facility could be open by April next year.

Ambulance chiefs want to build a new super station on the outskirts of Shrewsbury as part of a move they claim will improve efficiency and patient care. The new facility could be open by April next year.

It will act as a central "hub" for vehicle maintenance with specially trained teams on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to clean ambulances and ensure they are stocked with supplies.

It is claimed the move will mean far fewer ambulances are off the road so more crews are available to deal with the increasing number of 999 calls.

But the West Midlands Ambulance Service will also be looking to see whether current stations across the county - most of which were built many years ago - are still suitable.

Some might be sold off but it is being stressed that in every town where there is now a station, there will be at least one "community response post" with an am-bulance on standby. These might be at current stations or in different locations.

The towns will also have a 24/7 fast-response paramedic available.

Paramedics are to be given "advanced" training so they can give more types of treatment to patients.

Service bosses are looking for a suitable "hub" site on the eastern side of Shrewsbury, preferably close to the A5 corridor.

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The cost of the Shropshire project is not known but forms part of the service's multi-million pound Make Ready initiative which is already being implemented in Herefordshire and has been operating in Staffordshire for a number of years.

Chris Kowalik, WMAS spokesman, said the new Shrewsbury station would have vehicle workshops, medical stores and staff facilities. It would also be a base for ambulances.

He said every ambulance service in the country was planning to implement similar changes.

"The aim is to improve the service we give to patients and for us to be more available to answer 999 calls," said Mr Kowalik.

Under the proposal crews will have to travel to the "hub" to start and finish their shift.

Mr Kowalik said this was being discussed with staff but the unions were in favour of the proposal.

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