Doncaster based Cartwright Conversions has designed and built a bariatric ambulance for use at Bristol's Southmead Hospital.
With patients frequently transferred from the Brunel building to Elgar House across the 800-bed hospital site, the specially designed bariatric ambulance will be a crucial addition to support patients weighing over 25 stone (159kg) at the Bristol based hospital.
The ambulance, a first for the North Bristol Trust, was purchased by Southmead Hospitals' League of Friends, an independent charity which has been supporting the hospital for 40 years, with the majority of its funds generated by its quaint coffee shop in the Brunel building of the hospital.
The Conversions' team designed the vehicle with a view to accommodating the extra weight load from its passengers. Built on a Fiat Ducato chassis, the newly designed ambulance incorporates a 500kg lift and Ferno Megasus bariatric stretcher.
Additional features include an integral compartment for a bariatric wheelchair which can be used if required in place of a stretcher.
The ambulance not only provides much needed support for bariatric patients at Southmead Hospital but pregnant women in labour will also be transported by the new ambulance from the maternity unit to the emergency theatre in the Brunel building when required.
Beverley Jackson, Sales Manager at Cartwright Conversions said: "We are delighted to hand over this bariatric ambulance to North Bristol NHS Trust after working so closely with them to design a vehicle that meets their requirements and those of their patients."
Lead Executive for Charitable Funds at North Bristol NHS Trust, Catherine Phillips said: "We are incredibly grateful to Southmead Hospital League of Friends for providing the funding for the new specially-designed ambulance.
"The bariatric ambulance will help ensure a smoother transition from hospital to home and between buildings on site for patients requiring extra support."