Major multi-million-pound investment in new “state-of-the-art ambulances” for the NHS
Following the NHS’ winter struggles at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, the Government is to invest £36.3 million into 256 advanced ambulances as part of a long-term plan for the NHS.
The funding will be used to purchase new and update existing vehicles to help ambulance fleets provide emergency care to patients this coming winter says the Department of Health and Social Care.
Announced by Health Minister Stephen Barclay, London Ambulance Service is set to increase its fleet with an extra 25 double-crewed ambulances as a result of £3.85 million investment, Yorkshire Ambulance Service will increase its fleet with 62 double-crewed ambulances after receiving £7.5 million in funding, whilst East of England Ambulance Service Trust received £6.5 million to invest.
The announcement an investment by Yorkshire Ambulance Service earlier this year to purchase 30 Raizer emergency lifting chairs from Yorkshire Care Equipment, with the retailer supplying over 50 of the devices to emergency services across the North of England.
In total, 256 new vehicles will be bought, with more than half being on the road before this year’s winter according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
As well as spending on vehicles, a proportion of the funding will be used towards ‘make ready’ hubs at ambulance trust headquarters to enable better restocking and maintenance of vehicles.
Stephen Barclay said: “In some of the most worrying and vulnerable moments in our lives, dedicated ambulance staff are there, providing expert, calm and reassuring care to patients in often highly pressurised and sometimes dangerous situations.
“They are there for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we want to make sure that in the 70th year of the NHS we’re supporting them with state-of-the-art equipment, meaning they can provide a better service to patients.”
Professor Keith Willett, NHS England Medical Director for Acute Care, said: “We welcome this additional funding, which will allow ambulance trusts to begin to invest in new fleets and infrastructure ahead of this winter when we know they will once again come under pressure.
“This additional investment will help ambulance trusts to deliver the quality of service and excellent patient outcomes that are at the heart of the Ambulance Response Programme.”