WORTHING ambulance station is now home to a specialist vehicle designed to transport obese patients weighing up to 50 stones.
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has spent £400,000 on the three Mercedes DMA ambulances, which have been custom-built for obese patients’ needs.
The bariatric ambulances, which will be based at the station in Yeoman Road and also in Chertsey, Surrey, will come into service at the end of next month.
A project team comprising fleet, operational support, health and safety and a bariatric working group have helped design the vehicle.
The ambulances have features such as a wider tail lift, central stretcher, mobile hoists, threshold ramps and air cushion lifting equipment.
The foundation trust’s head of fleet, Justin Wand, said: “The new vehicles and equipment will provide the trust with a specialist ability to care for these patients who have specific needs.”
The vehicles come with manual handling aids, designed to reduce the risk of paramedics injuring themselves when moving larger patients.