Millions to be invested in advanced ambulances in preparation for winter
The Government has announced that £36.3 million is to be invested into 256 state-of-the-art ambulances as the Health Service prepares for another tough winter.
Following a particularly cold end to 2017 and start to 2018 which saw ambulance crews stretched to their limits, the new funding will be used to provide vital resources to allow Ambulance Services to effectively meet needs when demand is high.
According to Health Minister Stephen Barclay, 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
“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,” said Stephen Barclay.
“They are there for us 24 hours a day, seven 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.”
Announced by the Department of Health and Social Care, 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.
Out of the 256 new vehicles being purchased, more than half are planned to be on the road before the next cold snap.
As well as investing in ambulances, a percentage of the available funding will be used towards ‘make ready’ hubs at ambulance trust headquarters, enabling better restocking and maintenance of vehicles.
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.”