Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced £13.586 million in funding for the replacement of operational ambulances.
111 new vehicles will replace some of the existing Welsh Ambulance Service fleet, including 71 new emergency operations ambulances, 33 non-emergency patient transport vehicles, and 7 specialist emergency vehicles for major incidents. They will be deployed across the whole of Wales.
All the new vehicles will be chosen for their ‘cleaner, greener’ credentials. They will perform to the latest Euro6 compliant emission specifications, using fuel-efficient V6 engines to minimise the impact on the environment and community.
Mr Gething said:
“I am delighted to announce this funding as part of our commitment to upgrade the Welsh Ambulance Service fleet. We’ll use it to replace some of the older ambulances currently in service with more modern, more efficient and greener versions.
The newer vehicles will be more reliable and promise better performance and lower running costs, which will ensure value for money for the public purse. They will also be fitted with the most up-to-date communications systems and equipment, to make sure we continue to deliver the best service to the people of Wales.
I’m particularly pleased that all 33 of the new non-emergency patient transport vehicles will be fitted with solar panels to convert available sunlight into electricity. Using solar panels instead of mains chargers negates the need to install multiple charging points, which will reduce our energy consumption, as well as the health and safety risks posed by trailing leads.”
Louise Platt, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Interim Director of Operations, said:
“Our fleet is some of the most modern and well equipped in the UK and this funding will allow us to continue to replace our vehicles as they reach the end of their working life.
“Modern vehicles are essential in order that we can continue to provide the best treatment and patient care possible. It is also key for our staff who spend the majority of their working day out and about in the community.
“We are very grateful to the Welsh Government for their continued support.”