New £8m ambulance station for Cardiff will boost productivity

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A MULTI-MILLION pound new ambulance station is coming to Cardiff, it was announced today.

The Welsh government is investing £8 million in a state-of-the-art facility in the capital’s Pontprennau area, which will be the new home for emergency and non-emergency crews currently based in Blackweir. 

Emergency crews will collect their vehicles from the new station at the start of their shift and some will take up positions at deployment points across the city.

Left to Right: Catherine Darer (Area Operations Manager) Vaughan Gething (Health Minister) and Robert Brunnock (Locality Manager)

Dedicated Fleet Assistants will clean and re-stock vehicles in the station’s ‘Make Ready Depot’, enabling frontline crews are more readily available to respond to emergencies.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething was in Blackweir Ambulance Station to make the announcement.

He said: “This investment in the Welsh Ambulance Service shows our commitment to driving improvements in response times following my announcement last week of plans to increase ambulance availability through a Ministerial Taskforce.

Staff from the service at the announcement including Chief Executive Jason Killens (second right) at Blackweir Ambulance Station with Health Minister, Vaughan Gething

“The new station will give space for vehicles to be cleaned and restocked by a dedicated team, a job previously undertaken by ambulance crews, to enable frontline staff to be more readily available to respond to patients in the community.” 

A business case for the new premises was put together in full consultation with staff and Trade Union partners whilst a re-configuration of the industrial park’s Merton House has been led by the Cardiff-based Lawray Architects.

Renovations of the Merton House building on Avenue Industrial Park in Pontprennau will begin in May and take around a year to complete.

Chris Turley, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Interim Executive Director of Finance and ICT, said: “We welcome and thank the Minister for his investment in our new station.’

“This is the culmination of a number of years of planning and is a major step towards us finally vacating Blackweir station, which crews will agree is outdated and not fit for purpose.’

“We’re especially excited about the Make Ready Depot, which will enable our crews to access clean and fully stocked vehicles at all times, and thus spend more time in the community with patients — not to mention improving infection control.”

Vaughan Gething (Health Minister) in conversation with Alan Thomas (Locality Manager). In the background, Robert Brunnock (Locality Manager) stands on the left and Mark Cadman (Area Operations Manager) stands to the right

Robert Brunnock, the Trust’s Locality Manager in Cardiff, added: “It’s taken quite some time to progress this development, so we’re thrilled to be entering the next stages of acquisition and construction. 

“We would like to thank all who have been involved to date and look forward to progressing this modern and fully integrated facility for a leading ambulance service that serves the communities of Wales.”

Blackweir station’s fleet workshop will remain for the time being while a separate business case is developed with Welsh Government for consideration.

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