New £1.9 Million Ambulance Station Opened in Melrose

 Monday 8 June 2015

The Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, Shona Robison, formally opened a new, purpose built ambulance station in Melrose today.

The facility, situated in the grounds of Borders General Hospital, cost £1.9 million and replaces the old station in Roxburgh Street that was built in 1976. It provides significantly improved, modern operational facilities for the 34 staff that are based there.

Two emergency ambulances and three patient transport vehicles operate from the new station.  Each year, staff at the station respond to around 4,000 emergency incidents, requests from doctors and routine calls, as well as transporting over 5,000 patients to and from their hospital outpatient appointments.

The new ambulance station is the first Scottish Ambulance Service project delivered in Scotland through the Hub initiative. It was delivered by Hub South East Scotland, who appointed Morrison Construction to build the facility.

The building is fully compliant with all the latest standards for control of infection with improved sluice and vehicle cleaning facilities.  It was designed with the latest environmentally friendly heating and lighting systems to increase energy efficiency. The teams on duty at the station now benefit from new locker rooms and changing facilities and there is a dedicated area within the station for training.

The station provides quicker access to the wider region, which will improve response times in the area. A paramedic will also be based at the new health centre in Roxburgh Street when it opens. In the meantime, there are plans to tactically deploy them at the Asda store for quick response to appropriate calls.

The new site includes a purpose built vehicle workshop which will service and maintain all of the fleet that operates across the Borders region.

Health Secretary, Shona Robison, said: “I’m delighted to be here today to look around this new, £1.9 million ambulance station in Melrose.

“This facility should greatly improve the working environment for ambulance staff working in the Borders, as well as being more conveniently located for responding to calls.

“This is one of a number of projects being taken forward by NHS Scotland that will be upgrading our healthcare facilities across the country, providing patients with the highest quality services in their local area. The Scottish Government is supporting this work with over £2 billion of investment over four years to 2015/16.”

David Garbutt, Chairman, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“The investment is part of a national programme to upgrade and modernise ambulance stations to meet the needs of our staff and patients.  The new station in Melrose provides state of the art facilities for our crews which will support their continued professional development and enhance patient care.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“As demand continues to increase our ambulance staff are busier than ever responding with dedication and compassion to the needs of patients in their community, often in very challenging conditions. This new facility ensures that they have a modern, fit for purpose work environment with facilities that support the continued delivery of the highest standards of patient care.”