Ambulance demonstrator unit launched
The RCA launch event for the ambulance demonstrator unit on 22 September 2011 was hosted by Professor Ara Darzi of Imperial College. The former Health Minister has consistently championed the ambulance redesign project.
Professor Darzi praised the quality of thinking behind the new design and called on senior figures in the healthcare industry to ensure that the new ambulance becomes a reality.
Peter Bradley, head of the London Ambulance Service, was among healthcare industry leaders in attendance at the ambulance launch. Lady Hamlyn was also presented to see the mobile demonstrator open its doors to media and potential manufacturers and purchasers.
Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design Jeremy Myerson, Head of RCA Vehicle Design Dale Harrow and Senior Research Fellow Ed Matthews spoke for the RCA on the rationale and key design features of the project.
The new ambulance reconfigures and redesigns the layout of the patient treatment space. There is 360˚access to the patient, which not only improves the clinical efficiency but it also enhances patient safety. The new interior is designed to be easy to clean. Equipment packs containing specific treatment consumables aid clinical performance, infection control and stock control. A new digital diagnostics and communications system is also presented.
The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design partnered with RCA Vehicle Design, NHS London, London Ambulance Service, Imperial College St Mary's NHS Trust and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of West of England on the project.
Following the launch, which was timed to coincide with the opening of the centre's exhibition The Problem Comes First, there was extensive media coverage.
Sam Lister, Health Editor of The Times, wrote: 'The ambulance prototype could save more than £6.5 million a year in unnecessary hospital admissions in London alone'.