Just one month remains until the East of England region’s ambulance service drives home another milestone of its plan to improve standards in patient care.
A massive vehicle replacement programme, which began in early 2014, will see 267 emergency ambulances replaced across six counties – including 27 additional ambulances for the fleet.
By the end of March 2015 there will be no emergency ambulance older than five years.
The huge undertaking has been part of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (EEAST) six-point plan to improve patient care. The ambulances come with a full set of new medical devices and consumables, which altogether means better, more reliable transport for staff and patients with a full stock of equipment fit for purpose.
Earlier last year, 147 ambulances were introduced around the region – 120 were replacements and 27 were additional fleet. Since September, another 120 replacement ambulances were purchased and the remaining 37 ambulances will be delivered into operational service by the end of next month.
Trust Chief Executive Anthony Marsh, who introduced the six-point plan in January 2014, said, “I am delighted that the fleet modernisation programme has remained ahead of schedule. Our ageing fleet was a real concern amongst staff when I joined EEAST last year, but to see a new fleet under five years old with new equipment on board by the end of March is an excellent achievement.
“These new emergency ambulances will be more reliable and provide a better experience for patients and crews. I would like to thank our fleet and medical devices teams for their hard work getting these new vehicles on the road.”
Paul Henry, Head of Operations Support, said, “I am pleased to see that we have transformed our fleet over the last busy 13 months and we are moving ahead with the next ambulance and response car replacement requirements for 2015/16 and 2016/17.
“We will ensure that ambulance and car replacement is delivered in time with the Trust’s agreed life cycle for ambulances and cars which is now five years and three years respectively. Again, all vehicles will be equipped with new medical devices to maintain the standard of devices available to patients and staff.”