A NEW community ambulance station has opened on Pensnett Trading Estate, Kingswinford, as part of shake-up of services.

Ambulances will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from a base at the estate’s Innovation Centre which West Midlands Ambulance Service bosses picked as part of their Make Ready scheme to provide more low cost bases, improve ambulance coverage and plough cash back into frontline services.

Brian Nicholas, interim head of building services (estates) for the ambulance service, said: “We chose the Pensnett Trading Estate because its location and road links mean we can respond to patients quickly.

“It also provides us with the right standard of accommodation which we require to look after our staff.”

Estate owners London and Cambridge Properties Ltd (LCP) have also provided space for an ambulance charging point in a dedicated parking area on the 185-acre estate - one of the largest secure industrial estates in Europe.

Under the Make Ready scheme the ambulance service has been replacing a number of its traditional, older stations with new low cost community bases across the region and two super hubs at Burton Road, Dudley, and Willenhall.

In Stourbridge - the town's ambulance station in Margaret Drive has been closed and community paramedics relocated to share facilities with firefighters at Stourbridge Fire Station.

Ambulance chiefs say the project, which has had £7m invested in it, has been implemented to help cut estate running and repair costs, reduce wastage of drugs and supplies and cut ambulance crew ‘downtime’ as vehicles can be cleaned and restocked by ambulance fleet assistants at the hubs - freeing up paramedics to respond to incidents.