South East Coast Ambulance Service
(SECAmb) took a step into the future taking delivery of a new
‘concept’ ambulance to meet the demands of an evolving service.

The Trust became the first ambulance Trust in Europe to trial
the advanced Ferno Integrated Patient Transport System (IPTS).

SECAmb was selected as the nominated partner and clinical beta
testing site for the system.

At the centre of the design is Ferno’s innovative iN∫X
stretcher, a versatile self-loading stretcher, which should
automate manual handling and reduce an ambulance crew’s reliance on
the carry chair.

The Trust has provided three chassis for the project, a Mercedes
platform for a normal box back ambulance, a long wheel based van
conversion and a small Vito van.

The Trust has been involved in developing the concept of what
should be available to the crews in a modern vehicle to serve the
advancing skill sets of current and future crews.

Ferno is a leading international company in the design,
manufacturing and supply of medical equipment in the emergency
medical services.

The iN∫X stretcher removes the need for the heavy and
maintenance intensive tail lift and is so versatile it can be
positioned to remove patients from the cab of a lorry or cross the
central reservation of a motorway.

Another intrinsic part of the design is iN∫TRAXX’s storage
solution. It has provided a rail-mounted storage system delivering
flexible storing options. iN∫TRAXX also boasts an impressive array
of storage systems which act as a direct replacement for cupboards
and drawers.

The ‘SafePak’ looks like any high-quality flight luggage but
designed with a medic in mind. The magnetic self-locking pouches
also having an eye on infection control and Make Ready
The ACETECH electronics system is installed controlling the
lighting, environmental conditions and even delivering
self-darkening windows.

The vehicle also has the ability to provide a virtual check
of ‘mission critical’ equipment and report any missing equipment to
the crew and the Trust’s Make Ready teams.

State-of-the-art high definition CCTV will be installed allowing
direct synchronisation with Telematics and mapping.

The CCTV equipment is also able to transmit high definition
‘clinical’ images using superior video compression know-how,
presenting opportunities to ‘dial into’ the vehicle if staff
request clinical assistance or support.

SECAmb Head of Fleet, Justin Wand said: “As a Trust we pride
ourselves on being innovative and this project really does deliver
on that brief. The project aims to develop a better evidence-base
understanding for ambulance design of the future and will also
establish how Ferno’s new IPTS could be introduced into the UK’s
ambulance market.”

Jon Ellis, Managing Director, Ferno added: “We are not just
excited for SECAmb but for the whole ambulance market. With the
research and feedback from this beta trial, Ferno will be ready to
make the life of ambulance crews safer and the patient experience
less traumatic, benefiting ambulance providers with efficiency and
cost reductions”.