24 June 2016 - Ambulance Service to Open New Regional Logistics Centre Displaying Unique Local Artwork

Wyn, Tracy and childrenAmbulances from throughout Cheshire and Merseyside are now being serviced in a state of the art, new facility in Haydock, following the opening of a new logistics centre by the Trust.

The new build covers 20,000 sq ft, about half the size of a standard football pitch and operates 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Approximately 25 emergency ambulances and rapid response vehicles are serviced there each day and then sent back out onto the frontline to respond to 999 calls.

The facility replaces five smaller workshops which were no longer fit for purpose in Anfield, Runcorn, Northwich, Macclesfield and St Helens. Staff transferred from the previous sites to the new location and no job losses were incurred as part of the move.

The workshop became operational in February of this year but the official opening took place on 23 June, with special guests from Sts Peter & Paul Catholic Primary School, St Helens. To give the reception area a bit of colour, year 7 pupils from the school designed an ambulance themed collage which has been framed and given pride of place in the entrance area. Five pupils, their teachers and members of the NWAS Board attended the unveiling and were given a tour of the site by managers.

The next day, all of the pupils were treated to a visit to the school by the Trust’s mascot Pandamedic – who greeted all of the year 3 children who helped make the artwork and presented teacher Mr Redcliffe with an Amazon voucher for £100.

NWAS, Assistant Director of Estates, Fleet and Support Services, Neil Maher comments: “The workshop and maintenance staff have an important, albeit behind the scenes, role to play in making sure there are sufficient, road worthy ambulances available to respond to 999 calls.

“Without this dedicated team, vehicles would have to be transported to third party suppliers and would take much longer to get back out on the road and with 999 calls ever increasing, the Trust can’t afford to have ambulances out of action for longer than necessary.

“Our ambulances on average travel 250 miles a day and therefore need servicing every eight weeks We can deal with anything such as breakdowns, MOTs, routine servicing and on the odd occasion, repairs when involved in RTCs. The staff are always mindful of getting the ambulance back out again and so the demands can be quite intense.”

There are 37 staff working two shifts at the centre which is built on the site of the former Yew Tree Farmhouse on Boston Park in Haydock.

Approximately 288 vehicles serve the Cheshire and Merseyside area.

The new facility boasts equipment for activities such as MOT Testing, fully equipped vehicle maintenance service bays, engineering, welding and fabrication bay, a central stores function for bulk volume purchases and a modern staff training suite.

Neil adds: “This investment by the Trust of £2million further demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to improving frontline services and its response to patients. We’re very proud to say that NWAS has not reduced any of its emergency resources and in fact, has increased its fleet throughout the North West.

“We are responding to more patients than ever before and getting to patients, and then taking them to hospital safely and quickly is paramount. The maintenance team are very aware, that in some small way, they also have a role to play in making a difference to the lives of our patients and their families.”

Pic Caption: NWAS Director of Finance, Tracy Ellery (second from left) and Chair, Wyn Dignan (far right) with pupils (L-R) Emmie Penders, Charlie Bridge, Jake Crompton, Jack Slevin and Charlie Molyneux unveiling  the new artwork