Ambulances for obese to cost NHS £8 million

EAST MIDLANDS Ambulance Service (EMAS) are set to spend around £8 million on new ambulances which will be able to transport patients weighing up to 50 stone.

The 80 new ambulances are currently being built at a factory in Goole, North Lincolnshire, and should start to be delivered to EMAS at the end of February.

All of the vehicles will have bariatric capability, which means they can transport patients up to the weight of 50 stone (700lbs). Each vehicle, when it is fully equipped, costs around £100,000.

Steve Farnsworth, fleet services general manager for East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Research shows that the population is getting bigger and we, together with every other ambulance service in the country, are making sure we have the vehicles needed to provide quality care to the people we serve.

“These new ambulances will be used to respond to any 999 call and if the ambulance crew arrive on scene and find that the patient requires specialist transport, they don’t have to call for back up because the new vehicle is bariatric capable and this improves patient care and reduces delay.”

Around 28.7 per cent of the adult population in Derbyshire are obese, according to figures from NHS Derbyshire County.