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New ambulance base opens in Aviemore


By Gavin Musgrove

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Ambulance crew members from across Badenoch and Strathspey at the new Scottish Ambulance Service base in Aviemore.
Ambulance crew members from across Badenoch and Strathspey at the new Scottish Ambulance Service base in Aviemore.

Scottish Ambulance Service workers in Aviemore moved into their brand new base yesterday.

Twelve staff – a mix of paramedics and technicians – and an ambulance care assistant are now stationed at the £20 million Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital in the village.

The ambulance crew at Aviemore respond to around 400 incidents per year and the relocation will embed them in a multi-disciplinary team, strengthening links with NHS Highland.

Robert Farquhar, SAS area service manager for the region, said: “Our top priority continues to be our patients and, of course, our staff, who have been doing an amazing job every day in the most challenging of circumstances.

“This is great news for the whole strath and a significant step forward for healthcare in the Highlands. It will not only benefit staff and patients but the whole region.

“The move into the hospital will also allow us to work closely with our NHS Highland and social care colleagues.”

Scottish Ambulance Service staff members Suzanne Samuels and Adam Fell transfer Sarah Lyons to the new hospital. Ms Lyons was the first in-patient to arrive at the new facility in Aviemore and had previously been in St Vincent's Hospital in Kingussie. Photos: Aidan Woods
Scottish Ambulance Service staff members Suzanne Samuels and Adam Fell transfer Sarah Lyons to the new hospital. Ms Lyons was the first in-patient to arrive at the new facility in Aviemore and had previously been in St Vincent's Hospital in Kingussie. Photos: Aidan Woods

The relocation follows the successful elimination of on-call working at Aviemore.

Four additional posts have allowed the station to move to the new model of working with 24 hour on shift cover and follows similar moves elsewhere in the North.

As part of the SAS Demand and Capacity programme, additional staff, ambulances and the latest equipment across the country are being introduced.

An extra 69 frontline staff – a mixture of paramedics, newly qualified paramedics (NQPs) and technicians – along with nine patient transport service staff, will be located across the north region, including the recruitment of three additional staff in Kingussie.

The new ambulance bay at the Badenoch and Strahspey Community Hospital.
The new ambulance bay at the Badenoch and Strahspey Community Hospital.

Kenny Rodgers, NHS Highland’s project director for the Badenoch and Strathspey service redesign, said: “We are delighted to co-locate with the Scottish Ambulance Service at the new hospital in Aviemore.

“This co-location will support closer working between unscheduled care teams for both organisations and present opportunities for training and development that will enhance patient care in this setting.”


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