Scottish ambulance service set for £3.5m boost

The initial phase will see new communications hubs installed in the vehicle. Picture: Jane Barlow
The initial phase will see new communications hubs installed in the vehicle. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to provide the latest high-tech equipment in emergency ambulances will allow crews to treat more patients at the scene and could help cut hospital admissions, the chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service has said.

A total of £3.5 million of Scottish Government cash is being invested in the first phase of the programme which will see state-of-the-art technology installed in more than 500 ambulances.

The initial phase will see new communications hubs installed in the vehicle, along with hard-wearing tablet devices in the front and rear which crews can input patient details into and then transmit the information on.

The second part of the project, which is scheduled for 2016/17, will see video-link technology installed that could be used for consultations while new diagnostic devices which could provide more details about patients’ conditions will also be put in.

Scottish Ambulance Service chief executive Pauline Howie said: “The investment in new technology for emergency ambulances will ultimately widen the range of diagnostics that can be performed out of hospital and connect patients to clinical consultations.

“This will allow the patient to be treated safely in the community, where appropriate, reducing unnecessary admissions and the need for long journeys to hospital.”

Thousands of ambulances sent to wrong addresses

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The Scottish Government encourages increased use of technology in realising our 2020 Vision for safe, effective and integrated health and social care for Scotland.

“The Scottish Ambulance Service provides a critical service where having the right information at the right time is vital.

“This investment will enable better mobile care, allowing the ambulance service to bring more care to patients and increase the number of patients treated at the scene before referring on to appropriate health or social care service, where required.”

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