Ambulance control centre opens

North West Ambulance Service's new £2.7m control centre in Parkway Business Park, Manchester has been formally opened by HRH Duke of Gloucester.

Staff relocated in April to the business park developed by Orbit on Princess Road from their previous base in Belle Vue as it was deemed no longer fit for purpose.

Aedas provided architectural and interior design services for the 15-month refit and interior design of the new centre, in an existing NHS building, which brings together the emergency, urgent and patient transport control functions covering the entire Greater Manchester area. The patient transport service control function was previously split between five sites.

NW Ambulance ServiceEstablishing one contact centre in the Greater Manchester area brings the area in line with the rest of the service in the North West and has enabled new technology to be rolled out effectively, such as a computer aided dispatch system, automated vehicle tracking and the digital radio system Airwave, to bring the service in line with the emergency service.

Darren Hurrell, chief executive of North West Ambulance Service, said: "This investment not only provides a pleasant working environment for staff, but allows us to continue to progress the way we deliver healthcare to our patients in the future."

Dominic Manfredi, director of Aedas in Manchester, said: "The design of the centre has been extremely rewarding and we are delighted to have provided an environment that the staff of NWAS are proud of and enjoy working in."

The facility at Parkway is shared with NHS Manchester and occupies one-and-a-half floors of the building.

The refit produced 56 tonnes of waste, 86% of which was recycled. NW Ambulance Service employs 250 staff working shift rotations operating 27 desks in the Patient Transport Suite, 57 emergency 999 call desks, 18 ambulance dispatch desks, a training room, major incident suite, reflective practice suite. Parkway is one of three NWAS control centres, handling calls primarily for Greater Manchester. There are around 600 calls a day in Greater Manchester.

Main image by Dan Hopkinson

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