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New Ambulance Station receives an official Royal opening

IW Ambulance Station Royal Opening
New Ambulance Station receives an official Royal opening
20 April 2023

HRH the Duchess of Gloucester has officially opened our new £1m Ambulance Station at St. Mary’s Hospital which is home to the IW Ambulance Service. 

Her Royal Highness, accompanied by HM Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Mrs Susie Sheldon, visited the new Ambulance Station on Wednesday (19 April) and was welcomed by IOW NHS Trust Chief Executive, Darren Cattell and Director of Operations for the IW Ambulance Service, Victoria White.

Her Royal Highness was shown around the new facilities and met with members of the IW Ambulance Service before unveiling a plaque to declare the station officially open. 

Darren Cattell, Chief Executive said: “We are honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to our Ambulance Service to open this fantastic new facility and to meet some of our Ambulance staff. The new station and all the improvements that have been made will make such a difference to our people and our service, and will ensure our Ambulance service is resilient for the future to continue providing a high-quality urgent and emergency service to our Island community.” 

The new Ambulance Station is modern and spacious and has been designed in partnership with the Ambulance Service to ensure it meets the needs of staff and volunteers. 

It offers improved facilities for the ‘Make Ready’ team who are specialists that clean, restock and check the equipment on ambulances throughout the shift and accommodation for non-patient and patient transport team. 

There are modern management, administrative, training and staff facilities available to all Ambulance crews including new changing facilities and a welfare room to support emotional wellbeing. 

In addition to the new building, further improvements have been made to the Ambulance garage and national funding and a generous donation from the public has enabled a wellbeing garden to be created for staff to enjoy. 

Victoria White, Director of Operations, said: “The Island’s 999, 111 and Patient Transport Service has seen significant growth in activity since the pandemic, far greater than in comparison to neighbouring ambulance services, so this new facility is crucial in supporting recruitment and training and overall staff wellbeing.

“We now have a station which is fit for purpose and it is already making such a difference to the way we work and support each other. It will also improve outcomes for our patients as we now have dedicated training and study areas that staff can easily access.” 

In the last 12 months the Ambulance Service has received more than 28,500 emergency calls and has seen a 25% increase in ambulance call outs over the past 3 years. 

To meet demand the Trust has invested in additional ambulances and recruited more 999/111 Call Handlers, Paramedics and volunteers which has helped improve response times, which are now among the best in the country. 

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