South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) has taken a step into the future after taking delivery of a new ‘concept’ ambulance to meet the demands of an evolving service.
SECAmb became the first ambulance trust in Europe to trial the advanced Ferno Integrated Patient Transport System (IPTS). It was selected as the nominated partner and clinical beta testing site for the system. The trust has provided three chassis for the project, a Mercedes platform for a normal box back ambulance, a long wheel based van conversion and a small Vito van.
SECAmb has been involved in developing the concept of what should be available to the crews in a modern vehicle to serve the advancing skill sets of current and future crews.
At the centre of the design is Ferno’s innovative iN∫X stretcher, a versatile self-loading stretcher, which should automate manual handling and reduce an ambulance crew’s reliance on the carry chair. The iN∫X stretcher removes the need for the heavy and maintenance intensive tail lift and is so versatile it can be positioned to remove patients from the cab of a lorry or cross the central reservation of a motorway.
Another intrinsic part of the design is iN∫TRAXX’s storage solution. It has provided a rail-mounted storage system delivering flexible storing options. iN∫TRAXX also boasts an impressive array of storage systems which act as a direct replacement for cupboards and drawers. The ‘SafePak’ looks like any high-quality flight luggage but designed with a medic in mind. The magnetic self-locking pouches also having an eye on infection control and Make Ready requirements.
The ACETECH electronics system is installed controlling the lighting, environmental conditions and even delivering self-darkening windows.
The vehicle also has the ability to provide a virtual check of ‘mission critical’ equipment and report any missing equipment to the crew and the trust’s Make Ready teams.
High definition CCTV will be installed allowing direct synchronisation with telematics and mapping. The CCTV equipment is also able to transmit high definition ‘clinical’ images using superior video compression know-how, presenting opportunities to ‘dial into’ the vehicle if staff request clinical assistance or support.
SECAmb’s Head of Fleet, Justin Wand ,said, “As a trust we pride ourselves on being innovative and this project really does deliver on that brief. The project aims to develop a better evidence-base understanding for ambulance design of the future and will also establish how Ferno’s new IPTS could be introduced into the UK’s ambulance market.”
Ferno is a leading international company in the design, manufacturing and supply of medical equipment in the emergency medical services. Jon Ellis, Managing Director, Ferno, added, “We are not just excited for SECAmb but for the whole ambulance market. With the research and feedback from this beta trial, Ferno will be ready to make the life of ambulance crews safer and the patient experience less traumatic, benefiting ambulance providers with efficiency and cost reductions.”