The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust will get 44 new vehicles as part of a major £6.7m upgrade funded by the Welsh Government, Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced on 15 September.
The investment will enable the service to buy 35 new emergency ambulances and six patient transport vehicles to replace older models. The Welsh Ambulance Service currently has more than 700 vehicles, which cover an area of more than 8000 square miles across Wales.
The new vehicles will help reduce running costs as they will be more reliable and fuel efficient, with less time taken off front line duty for repairs and maintenance. They will provide the best possible clinical environment for patients to be treated and, if necessary, transported to hospital for life-saving care and, in the case of patient transport vehicles, routine appointments.
The £6.7m funding continues the support the Welsh Government has given to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust for new vehicles, which now stands at almost £28m since 2011-12.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said, “The demands on our ambulance service grow every year and we are determined to invest in the service to deliver the best service to patients.
“This investment will support frontline operations by providing the latest vehicles and responds to increased numbers of emergency calls and a greater need to convey patients to hospital. We are continuing to invest in our ambulance service to ensure the fleet is made up of the most modern and reliable vehicles to meet the needs of the sick and injured in Wales.”
Patsy Roseblade, Executive Director of Finance and ICT at the Welsh Ambulance Service, added, “The trust relies very heavily on its fleet of more than 700 vehicles. It is imperative therefore that they are reliable and in good condition to respond to the next emergency. The Welsh Government vehicle replacement programme enables this to be achieved.
“We’re very grateful to Welsh Government for its continued support, which will allow us to improve the quality of our services and enhance patient care.”