It’s ready, steady go for Make Ready programme

Building of the new Make Ready depot, Stevenage

Work is well underway on the Trust’s new ‘Make Ready’ depots. Full Make Ready and mechanical workshop facilities on five existing Trust sites will be open by August. They are Waveney, Peterborough, Chelmsford, Southend and Stevenage.

They will be among the first to improve facilities and support for crews and deliver on-site maintenance of vehicles. Further sites are scheduled to open later this year and we are developing Phase 2 with NHS Improvement.

The introduction of the new 24/7 Make Ready service will free operational staff of responsibility for cleaning and restocking vehicles, their equipment and medical devices. Instead, specialist teams will work round the clock to clean and restock the vehicles. They will be housed in depots refurbished as part of this multi million programme, which includes significant investment from NHS Improvement to improve or replace outdated bases.

The new maintenance and restocking arrangements will get ambulances and crews back out on the road and responding to patients even more quickly. They will also reinforce a team-based approach to functions such as medicines management, linen, waste management and preparedness for national crises and civil emergencies.

Staff performing Make Ready-style roles transferred on 1st April from service delivery to operations support. We are recruiting around 60 additional staff for the first wave and wider sites now. We’re looking for a range of staff across all Make Ready roles.  

Contact Jean Ward for details of the roles at

As we continue to transform our overall operational and clinical capability as a modern Urgent and Emergency Care organisation, the support of joined-up and inter-operable support services is now even more important. The Trust has taken this opportunity to start a review of what we do and how we do it - and to review and upgrade several fleet/ workshops and Make Ready Services roles to ensure that they meet the needs of our services and patients.

We have started a consultation on this and all effected staff and unions have been asked for their views.

We are also reviewing how fleet services can use technology and a new fleet management system to provide a better service for operational teams and improve our processes.

The new fleet administration system will enable more flexible reporting for vehicles so that we improve compliance and road worthiness. It will also give us a more accurate picture of which vehicles are on and off the road. That will mean that operational teams have vehicles available where and when they are needed.

We are also implementing a Radio Frequency Identification system in ambulances to track clinical equipment which should reduce the risk of leaving behind clinical assets. It will inform drivers and crews by informing  if equipment is missing from a vehicle. The equipment uses less power than your mobile phone is not harmful and only tracks the location of clinical devices.

Paul Henry, Deputy Director of Operations Support, says: “We’re focussing right now on sites that are best placed to host a vehicle workshop and additional Make Ready services staff.

“Once it is fully operational, the Make Ready Service will improve efficiency and  ensure every vehicle we operate, will be stocked, cleaned and maintained to the same consistently high standards.”

Paul also thanked the hard-working ambulance fleet assistants for their behind-the-scenes contribution to the delivery of high quality care.

Published 22nd May 2019

Leave a Comment
Name (required)
Email Address (required, never displayed)
Enter a message

(all comments are moderated - your submission will be posted on approval.)