STRUCTURE: South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has opened a Make Ready Centre in Ashford.

Under the Make Ready vehicle preparation system, specially-trained operatives regularly deep-clean, restock and check vehicles for mechanical faults.

It is intended to free up frontline staff, who have historically cleaned and re-stocked ambulances, to spend more time treating patients.

The centre is supported by a network of Ambulance Community Responses Posts across south east Kent.

Ambulance clinicians begin and end their shifts at the Make Ready Centre and respond from the ACRPs, where there are facilities for staff.

Staff can also return and pick up a “Made Ready” vehicle during their shift should they need to, thus ensuring they can begin to respond to emergencies more quickly than in the past when they would have to clean and restock their vehicles themselves.

Geoff Catling, SECAmb’s programme director of estates, said: “A great deal of work has gone on to introduce the system across our region and most recently in Kent.

“Make Ready ensures we have a system in place where our staff are spending more time doing the job they are trained to do – treating patients.”