Fiat ambulances update

New fleet_2019

The Trust is currently working through resolving issues with the Fiat ambulances.

A task and finish group is meeting regularly with representation from Operations, Staffside, People Services and Fleet. As previously announced, the remaining Mercedes ambulances are due to be decommissioned in March 2023.

The Mercedes fleet has been redistributed to meet operational demands across the Trust. Due to the aging Mercedes fleet, the Trust continues to experience a high breakdown rate for these vehicles.

Over 100 staff have identified issues with driving Fiat ambulances, with a high number of these staff being assessed by an external ergonomist that has been brought in by the Trust. Further assessments are being booked as needed over the coming weeks.

The Trust is continuing to modify the ergonomics of the Fiat vehicles as required and have successfully removed a box plinth from behind the driver’s seat in almost all vehicles. Further modifications underway include removing a section of the dash to provide increased space for the driver footwell.  

The Trust have carried out assessments of vehicles manufactured by Ford and MAN recently. As a Trust we have received a derogation from NHS England to bring 10 MAN and 10 Ford ambulances into the Trust with immediate effect and we are currently taking these through the process with vehicle converters.

Due to the lead time for these vehicles to be converted, the earliest it is currently anticipated that we will receive these vehicles into the Trust is likely to be April 2023.

Through joint working between the Trust and Unison, a Fiat driver review meeting pro- forma has been developed for managers to meet with any staff who have raised issues driving Fiat ambulances.

This will provide further information and aid with discussion on any potential solutions for all staff in a consistent manner. Please be assured that every member of staff where there is any concern will have an individual meeting with their line manager and we will work together to explore all reasonable adjustments which could include consideration for redeployment in some cases.

Monday 26th September 2022

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