By Ian Dipple Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 09:53
A SHAKE-UP of the ambulance service in Redditch which will prevent people unnecessarily being taken to hospital and lead to faster response times, has been backed by the town's MP.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is currently implementing its Make Ready Scheme in Worcestershire, part of which will see three response bases created within Redditch as well as a main hub at nearby Bromsgrove where ambulances will be cleaned and stocked, ready for crews to collect at the start of their shift.
Although the system does not go live until April next year, the first of the responses bases has been running for six weeks at Greenlands Business Centre off Studley Road. Another is in the process of being created on the industrial estate off Windsor Road with a third site having been identified in Church Hill, where a community paramedic will also be based.
The community paramedic will have advanced training to deal with minor injuries at the scene and then refer people for after-care with their GP where appropriate as well as work with other health services across the borough.
Michelle Brotherton, general manager for the service, told the Standard: "Essentially if you look at Redditch it will create a triangle so we will be able to cover the area better and get to patients quicker.
"Sometimes we go to patients that don't need to go to A&E but we have nowhere else we can take them, so it's about looking at alternatives because a lot of people don't want to go into hospital, so it is better for the patient because the last thing anyone wants to be doing is being left on a trolley in A&E."
The response bases have basic kitchen facilities, a television and computer which links to the service's intranet system so staff can be training or researching when not on call.
Make Ready is already in place in Herefordshire and during August the service recorded its best ever response time for category A calls, the most urgent and life threatening, of 84.1 per cent against a national target of 75 per cent.
Last Friday (September 14) Redditch MP Karen Lumley visited the site to talk to staff and check on the scheme's progress and gave it her backing.
"It's a major step forward for everyone in Redditch as wherever you live you will be within a certain distance of an ambulance or a response car. At the moment if you live in Church Hill or Greenlands it's quite a way from Batchley."
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