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Wait for new ambulances

PUBLISHED: 12:31 01 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

MANUFACTURING problems are delaying new ambulances coming into the East Anglian fleet - and stopping the service meet a vital deadline to improve.

East Anglian Ambulance Trust chief executive Dr Chris Carney will tell board members meeting at Norwich HQ today that new vehicles are slowly beginning to enter service, but they have been affected by production delays by the supplier.

By Tracey Sparling

MANUFACTURING problems are delaying new ambulances coming into the East Anglian fleet – and stopping the service meet a vital deadline to improve.

East Anglian Ambulance Trust chief executive Dr Chris Carney will tell board members meeting at Norwich HQ today that new vehicles are slowly beginning to enter service, but they have been affected by production delays by the supplier.

He said: "There will therefore be some slippage into the next financial year of a number of vehicles, and this will impose a slight delay and our ability to comply with the last two vehicles covered by a Health and Safety Improvement Notice.

"We are in discussion with the HSE Executive to seek a small extension on this notice."

The number of ambulances in operation is set to be crucial as the quantity of emergency calls traditionally rise over winter months.

Dr Carney said: "Pressure on our vehicle fleet over the winter months is likely to be high, as our replacement programme has slipped due to these manufacturing problems.

"This will leave us with little spare capacity until the programme resolves in the new year."

But he added: "I have to say that the new tail lift vehicle that has entered service at Bury must now represent the best A&E ambulance available in the UK.

"It features a number of major steps forward in ambulance design for both patient care and health and safety."

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