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Citroen take on AST Ambulance Service’s bariatric role

8th December 2009 Print
Citroen Ambulances

Fast-growing AST Ambulance Service - one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist medical transport - now has its first two Citroen Relay-based bariatric ambulances in service, together with a Dispatch-based bariatric support vehicle.  These vehicles will be used to provide specialist emergency and routine transport services for patients weighing 318kg (50 stone) or more. 

The two Relay bariatric ambulances - which each cost approaching £50,000 - have been converted by Goole-based specialists Oughtred & Harrison, to include removable seating, reinforced loading ramps, special stretchers and electric winch equipment.  This conversion enables these specialist vehicles to be used for general patient transport in addition to their bariatric role.  The Relays also carry the first specialist Ferno Harrier XL trolley in the UK, which provides state-of-the-art handling facilities for bariatric patients.

Tony Hannigan, AST Ambulance director, explains, “This year and next year, AST Ambulance will be investing a total approaching £1 million in bariatric vehicles to meet a growing need in the National Health Service.  For this operation the Relay offers significant operational advantages.  Relays offer a lower loading height and greater internal width than their competitors, and we have been impressed with both the performance and economy delivered in service.  Compared with other vehicles we operate, the Relays are proving to be 4 to 5mpg more economical.  We were also impressed with the level of support that Citroen has provided our business.”

Based on Relay 35 L3H2 120 panel vans, the specialist bariatric units will have a service life of some four years during which they will cover up to 100,000 miles.  The Dispatch 2.0HDi support unit, which carries a wide range of specialist medical handling equipment, will have a similar service life with AST Ambulance Service.

AST Ambulance Service is now one of the UK’s largest suppliers of bariatric services.  The fast growing company, based in New Malden, Surrey, has just opened an office in Hitchin and is building up its operations in Southampton.  The company’s 26-strong fleet already includes Citroen C5 ambulance cars, in addition to its new Relay and Dispatch bariatric units.  The company expects to add further Citroen vehicles to its fleet as its operations grow with both the National Health Service and private medical companies.

ISO 9001:2008-accredited, AST Ambulance Service works throughout the UK and is also involved in patient repatriation from anywhere in Europe.  All of its fleet, which range from motorcycles through to its largest bariatric vehicles, are less than four years old and are CEN-certified.

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Citroen Ambulances