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Ambulance service get high-tech vehicle

Having invested £80,000 St John Ambulance Suffolk is delighted to have taken delivery of its latest high tech emergency ambulance, the first in the UK to be fitted with an electric raising stretcher for transporting patients weighing up to 70 stone.

St John Ambulance Suffolk is leading the way in bariatric provision and the new ambulance brings the county’s fleet to seven bespoke vehicles, with a further two on order and scheduled for delivery mid 2012.

Keith Hotchkiss, operations manager at St John Ambulance Suffolk says: ‘The new ambulance is a great asset to our fleet as the electric raising stretcher will increase the safety of both the patient and our crews.’

The new ambulance will also be used by St John Ambulance Suffolk to assist A&E work in support of the NHS and by the charity’s volunteers when attending events and undertaking charitable activities.

Keith continues, ‘St John Ambulance Suffolk is leading the field when it comes to bariatric provision and regularly transfers over 20 patients each week. In addition the Suffolk team has been undertaking bariatric training with St John Ambulance colleagues in the East Midlands and the West Country and more training is planned throughout 2012.

Currently St John Ambulance Suffolk provides bariatric services in support of the East of England Ambulance service region, which can see crews heading as far afield as Watford, as well as undertaking regular visits to a specialist bariatric centre in the Luton area.

‘Here in Suffolk we continue to function as a beacon for bariatric services across the UK providing specialist resources enabling the NHS to concentrate on providing emergency cover. However, I’m delighted that other St John Ambulance counties are now starting to look at the whole issue of bariatric provision which will ensure patients are transported safely but equally as important, with dignity and compassion.’

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