Ambulance fleet gets cash boost

First published in News by

WALES’ struggling ambulance service is to receive almost £4 million of Welsh Government funding for a major upgrade of its vehicle fleet.

Forty-one new vehicles - 14 emergency ambulances, 15 large patient care service vehicles, four small patient care service vehicles, two health courier service vehicles, and six specialist vehicles - will cost £3.8 million and replace part of the existing fleet.

The ambulance service currently has 736 vehicles covering an area of more than 8,000 square miles in Wales.

The new ones will ensure patients are treated in the best clinical environments possible using the latest equipment, and will reduce overall operating costs for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST), as they will be more fuel efficient.

The latest ambulance service performance figures reveal the demands placed on the service with 35,570 emergency calls during June 2014. They also show that immediately life-threatening incidents, which require an emergency ambulance response, have increased by 30 per cent over the last five years.

Response times targets, particularly for category A emergency calls, continue to be missed across much of Wales, including Gwent.

Health minister Mark Drakeford said the service faces significant demands and the investment is intended to make sure that modern, reliable vehicles are available to respond to sick and injured patients.

“This new funding will help provide high-quality clinical services, improve the comfort and care to patients and offer a much better working environment for ambulance service staff,” he said.

Heather Ransom, head of resources for WAST, said: “Regularly replacing ageing vehicles ensures our fleet remains modern, reliable and fit for purpose. The investment will allow us to continue to improve the quality of our services for the people of Wales and enhance patient care.”

Comments (3)

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8:36pm Wed 27 Aug 14

mr david says...

Hope they check the weight as some one did not in bristol ,also the licence to drive a heavy ambulance.
Hope they check the weight as some one did not in bristol ,also the licence to drive a heavy ambulance. mr david
  • Score: 0

7:09am Thu 28 Aug 14

signal box says...

Same old story if we have new ambulances then performance will improve, it's time for a cull of the ex Police Officers and Political Appointees who are running the Welsh Ambulance Service and replace them with Qualified Ambulance Officers/Managers who have the experience to run the service that is if they have any left after the culling in the last five years of these Officers and Managers.
Same old story if we have new ambulances then performance will improve, it's time for a cull of the ex Police Officers and Political Appointees who are running the Welsh Ambulance Service and replace them with Qualified Ambulance Officers/Managers who have the experience to run the service that is if they have any left after the culling in the last five years of these Officers and Managers. signal box
  • Score: 0

10:32am Thu 28 Aug 14

Aquarius says...

Well, if they're getting more money for vehicles, let's make sure that it GOES on new vehicles. And not, for instance, on paying senior managers to stay in hotels (see: http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/news/10
040048.Call_for_prob
e_at_ambulance_staff
___s___65k_four_year
_Gwent_hotel_stay/ ) This was a story from a couple of years ago that the Service and Welsh Govt never satisfactorily answered (and which the Argus never followed up either...). All that happened was the said manager was very rapidly yanked out of her post in South Wales just before the story hit!

You can't trust the people making the decisions here. There ARE some good and capable managers in the Service who have been cowed into silence and/or submission. Morale is low. Staff are covering thousands of miles travelling ridiculous distances to emergency calls because of gaps in cover. No wonder vehicles need replacing! Control Staff have to juggle dwindling resources and be abused by the public when they dial 999.

But there are lots of very senior managerial posts with grand titles (eg Head of Resources) often filled by people with no direct ambulance experience whatsoever. (Erm, 'nurse manaagers' for instance...). They are just required to toe the line and pass the blame as far down the line as possible.

This Trust needs a clearout of many of the very senior executives (starting at the very top) sitting in splendid isolation in leafy North Wales. Oh, and they need to fire the non executive directors too. I've never seen a convincing argusment for appointing an ex Chief Constable as a Chairman, other than perhaps for politically expedient purposes. And that's back to the Welsh Government really, isn't it?
Well, if they're getting more money for vehicles, let's make sure that it GOES on new vehicles. And not, for instance, on paying senior managers to stay in hotels (see: http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/news/10 040048.Call_for_prob e_at_ambulance_staff ___s___65k_four_year _Gwent_hotel_stay/ ) This was a story from a couple of years ago that the Service and Welsh Govt never satisfactorily answered (and which the Argus never followed up either...). All that happened was the said manager was very rapidly yanked out of her post in South Wales just before the story hit! You can't trust the people making the decisions here. There ARE some good and capable managers in the Service who have been cowed into silence and/or submission. Morale is low. Staff are covering thousands of miles travelling ridiculous distances to emergency calls because of gaps in cover. No wonder vehicles need replacing! Control Staff have to juggle dwindling resources and be abused by the public when they dial 999. But there are lots of very senior managerial posts with grand titles (eg Head of Resources) often filled by people with no direct ambulance experience whatsoever. (Erm, 'nurse manaagers' for instance...). They are just required to toe the line and pass the blame as far down the line as possible. This Trust needs a clearout of many of the very senior executives (starting at the very top) sitting in splendid isolation in leafy North Wales. Oh, and they need to fire the non executive directors too. I've never seen a convincing argusment for appointing an ex Chief Constable as a Chairman, other than perhaps for politically expedient purposes. And that's back to the Welsh Government really, isn't it? Aquarius
  • Score: 1

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