An application by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to demolish their current outdated on Waterloo Road in South Shore and replace the building with a new three storey facility has been approved. (An artist’s impression of the new Ambulance Station is depicted in the header photograph.) Whilst this new base is under construction, a temporary station will be created on the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital.
This means that Lytham, Fleetwood, Thorton and Wesham Stations will eventually close, NWAS saying that the central ‘hub and spoke’ station will facilitate the modernisation of the service. The new Ambulance Station will eventually employ 263 members of staff in addition to up to 15 training staff and students on a typical day, representing an increase of 116 on current staffing levels. Shift systems mean that all these staff would not all be present on site at the same time.
NWAS decided due to the good road and transport links to the existing site this offers the best solution for the new ambulance station, which would provide a modern response base, patient transfer unit and Make Ready suite, where ambulances are re-equipped and cleaned in preparation for attending call-outs. Alternative sites were considered as part of their original business case, but were discounted due to cost, traffic congestion and size.
The new station will act as the main Fylde ‘hub’, with crews elsewhere on the coast operating from ‘spoke’ sites such as health centres, fire stations and police stations. The model has already been adopted in other parts of the region after it was found ambulances are rarely at their station when they are despatched on a call.