"Bumpy journey in new ambulance"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service

(as a relative),

My husband had to attend the WGH this morning and the ambulance arrived and since he is in a wheelchair had great cheery help from Brian.

Unfortunately on the hour journey to the hospital there was no heater working and it was very cold especially for the ill and elderly travelling.

The ambulance bumped along like an old tractor and the patients said what a rocky road but the driver said it was the new ambulance which was always like this. Two of the passengers felt sick near the end of the journey and my husband who has never in his life been travel sick has to lie down for a spell when he got into the house.

I am sure these ambulances cost the NHS a lot of money but has comfort for the patient been ignored to keep the price down?

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback about the experience of your husband and his fellow patients on one of our new Patient Transport Service (PTS) ambulances. I’m sorry the heater wasn’t working and that the journey was a particularly bumpy one.

Without more specific information about the ambulance your husband was in, it's not possible to check if the heater has been repaired. Staff do complete a daily log of any repairs required on vehicles, so I fully expect the heater problem to have been resolved. That said, I am sorry it was not working on the day your husband and other patients were on this vehicle

Over the last three years Scottish Ambulance Service has invested over £25 million in a vehicle replacement programme, including 4 x 4 capability to help us get to patients during adverse weather. While the Service strives to obtain value for money when purchasing new vehicles, the comfort and safety of our patients is imperative.

I have shared your feedback with our General Manager for Fleet. He is aware of an issue with the suspension on some of our new vehicles. The suspension on our older vehicles is softer, but was proving unreliable. The new suspension is proving to be more reliable, but we are getting feedback, including the experience you have shared, which is telling us that we need to keep working on a solution. The Fleet Manager is monitoring the situation.

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