25 September 2019
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has strengthened its fleet with the addition of 12 ambulances based on the Fiat Ducato.
The vehicles have already entered service in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Waveney.
Another 43 Ducato-based ambulances will be rolled out across the region in the coming months, with another 171 joining the fleet by next April.
EEAST has invested around £21m in the 226 vehicles, which have been developed following extensive consultation with staff, patients, carers’ groups and trade unions.
The ambulances have been designed to make transfers smoother and more comfortable for patients, who will be positioned in the centre of the vehicle rather to one side, in turn allowing family members to sit with them or specialist medics to work around them.
The trust is also installing automatic self-loading stretchers as standard so staff no longer need to push patients up a ramp or onto a tail lift to access the vehicle, reducing the chances of musculoskeletal problems while also improving the patient experience.
Paul Henry, Deputy Director of Operations Support, said: “We listened carefully to the views of our staff to ensure the vehicle will meet their needs, keep them comfortable during a shift and allow them to deliver even better care.
“We’ve also liaised closely with patients, carers and other stakeholders to ensure the design gives them the best possible experience by making their journey as smooth as possible.”
The final design for the ambulance was chosen after staff were given the chance to test four prototype vehicles in a real working environment before feeding back their views.”