New concept vehicles coming

Concept ambulance NTK

We will soon roll out brand new bespoke ambulances which have been specially-designed to give patients a smoother journey while improving the working environment for crews.

For those of you who have followed this story closely, we are investing nearly £6m in 55 vehicles which will be phased in from the spring. The team working on this massive project have benchmarked the new design against the latest principles for safety, ergonomics and clinical practice after reviewing best practise from other services internationally.

The ambulances have been developed over the past 18 months following extensive consultation with staff, trade unions, patients and carer groups. Thank you to everyone who has been involved.

The ambulance features include:

  • automatic self-loading stretchers to reduce the chances of musculoskeletal problems while also improving the patient experience
  • a camera and intercom system to make it easier for the paramedic administering treatment to communicate with the driver. This will be especially important for helping student paramedics develop their clinical skills
  • electronic checklists for monitoring stock so that crews no longer need to verify items manually
  • a fridge/ cool box for crew members to store food during their shift, along with USB chargers and a lockable cupboard so that staff can securely store personal possessions such as wallets and keys
  • extra suspension to make the vehicles more comfortable
  • a window in the back for ventilation in the summer and heating which can be left on so that the vehicle stays warm during the winter
  • a third seat on the opposite side of the patient, improving their experience by allowing a relative to site closer to the stretcher or two ambulance clinicians to treat the patient simultaneously
  • relocated clinical equipment to help ensure that the correct equipment is in the right place during transport, minimising the need and risk for staff to move around while travelling.

The ambulances are also significantly lighter than our existing vehicles, making them more efficient and environmentally-friendly to run as CO2 emissions, fuel costs, maintenance and wear on tyres will all be reduced. It is estimated the new vehicles will save the Trust around £3.3m a year by the time all of our existing ambulances have been replaced.

Paul Henry, Deputy Director of Operations Support, said: “We are really proud of our new design, and more so the innovations that operational staff have identified which make these new ambulances better to operate and travel in, and more economic and environmentally sustainable to run than our existing fleet.

“We received some fantastic feedback from our staff as we were developing the ambulances. We listened carefully to everyone’s views to made sure the working environment will better meet their needs while keeping them comfortable during a shift, and would like to thank everyone who contributed to this important project.”

Published 23rd November 2018

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