WATCH: First look inside new east of England ambulances
This is the first look inside new ambulances due to hit to road in the east of England by early next year.
The East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) has invested nearly £6m in 55 bespoke vehicles which will be phased in from the spring.
A further 171 of these new ambulances will be delivered into service by March 2020.
It said has benchmarked the new design against the latest principles for safety, ergonomics and clinical practice after reviewing best practise from other services internationally.
And the new vehicles could save EEAST around £3.3m a year when all existing ambulances have been replaced.
Developed over the past 18 months the ambulances have been designed to make transfers smoother and more comfortable. Automatic self-loading stretchers will be installed so staff no longer need to push patients up a ramp or onto a tail lift into the vehicle, reducing the chances of musculoskeletal problems.
And the design includes a camera and intercom system so the clinician with the patient in the back can communicate with their colleague in the cab, and the internal layout will make equipment easy to access in any clinical situation. Electronic checklists will also be used to monitor stock and ensure each ambulance carries the correct supplies, saving crews from verifying items manually.
The ambulances are also significantly lighter than EEAST’s existing vehicles, making them more efficient and environmentally-friendly to run as CO2 emissions, fuel costs, maintenance and wear on tyres will all be reduced.
Paul Henry, deputy director of operations support with EEAST, said: “We are really proud of our new design, and more so the innovations that operational staff have identified which make these new ambulances better to operate and travel in, and more economic and environmentally sustainable to run than our existing fleet.
“We listened carefully to the views of our staff to make sure the working environment will better meet their needs while keeping them comfortable during a shift.
“We’ve also liaised closely with other stakeholders such as carers to ensure the design will improve the experience of our patients by making their journey as smooth as possible.”